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Sophie Smith: Police admit hopes of finding missing student alive are 'diminishing'

Police investigating the disappearance of a missing student in Norfolk have admitted hopes of finding her alive are "diminishing" after they discovered a possible CCTV image of her walking towards the seafront in her home town.

Sophie Smith, 21, went missing from her home in Avondale Road, Gorleston, at around 3am on Boxing Day.

She was dressed in just a vest top and shorts at the time.

Volunteers have been out searching for Sophie over the last few days. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A major search operation has been taking place over the last couple of days, but no trace of her has been found so far.

There's still been no confirmed sightings of her, but officers are trying to determine whether she was the person spotted heading towards the sea in the CCTV footage.

"We have a CCTV image of a person we believe to be Sophie running down Avondale Road towards the beach," Police Inspector Will Drummond told ITV News Anglia.

"Sophie suffered from severe anxiety and depression and we suspect this may have been a trigger to her reactions on the evening. There was a level of preparation.

"Information that we have got now may suggest the likelihood that, unfortunately, Sophie may have gone into the sea.

"We are in close contact with Sophie’s family, who are being supported by officers at what is a very difficult time for them. However, due to the circumstances in which she left home with minimal clothing, no mobile phone, her mental state and the weather conditions, the hope of finding Sophie safe and well diminishes as time goes on.”

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