Body of missing teenager found in field

The family of Dorset teenager Gaia Pope have spoken of their grief and frustration, after her body was found in a field near Swanage.

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Gaia: three people released without any further action

Gaia's body was found on Saturday Credit: Dorset Police

Three people arrested in connection with the disappearance of Gaia Pope have been released from police investigation without any further action.

At around 3pm on Saturday 18 November 2017, specialist search teams discovered the body of a woman near the coastal path and the field where items of her clothing had been located on Thursday 16 November near Swanage.

Although the body has yet to be formally identified, officers are confident that it is Gaia and her family is being supported by specially-trained officers.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Sunday 19 November 2017, and did not identify any injuries to suggest any other person was involved in her death. The cause of death is undetermined pending toxicology results.

Following the results of the post-mortem examination and other ongoing investigative enquiries, we have concluded that no one else was involved in Gaia’s death.

As such we have today, Monday 20 November, released from our investigation two men aged 19 and 49 and a 71-year-old woman, all from Swanage, who had been arrested and were assisting with our enquiries.

I appreciate our enquiries would have caused these individuals stress and anxiety, however we have an obligation in any missing person investigation to explore every possible line of enquiry.

The public would expect Dorset Police to fully investigate the sudden disappearance of a teenage girl. Our aim was not only to find Gaia but to find out what happened to her.

Gaia’s family has been informed of this latest development and our thoughts remain with all her family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

– Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell

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Police say clothing appears to belong to Gaia

The clothing located south of Priests Way appear to be Gaia's and her family have confirmed they match what she was believed to have been wearing the day she went missing."

"Yesterday and today specialist officers and teams, supported by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, the coastguard, national search advisors and the NPAS helicopter, have been conducting detailed searches and forensic examinations of fields and open areas. Wide area searches have also been carried out with the assistance of Dorset Search and Rescue and volunteers in the community."

"Our search area spans over many square miles of grassland, gorse, bracken and undulating difficult terrain and the public can expect to see officers continuing searches there for a number of days and beyond. We would like to repeat our thanks to them for their support and understanding as our large scale investigation continues."

"The community will be aware that this rural area surrounding Purbeck is a wide expanse of challenging ground, much of which is exposed to the elements. In addition, the cliffs along the coast are dangerous and the seas can be unpredictable. While we are grateful to the public's ongoing help, I would like to advise them not to put themselves in danger and to allow the specially-trained experts to cover this area in a controlled manner. Coordinated local volunteers who are in liaison with the police search operation are continuing to assist."

"I would like to renew our appeal to anyone who may have seen Gaia in the area of Manor Gardens and south of Priests Way since 3.30pm on Tuesday 7 November."

"Finally, and most importantly, our thoughts remain with Gaia's family at this extremely distressing and difficult time. Specially-trained officers continue to support and update them and their wellbeing is central to our actions."

– Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell

Missing Gaia: Police release third person under investigation

Gaia went missing on 7 November Credit: Dorset Police

Police investigating he disappearance of Swanage teenager Gaia Pope have released a third person under investigation.

The 49-year-old man, who lives in Swanage and is known to Gaia, was arrested on the afternoon of Thursday 16 November 2017 on suspicion of murder. He has today, Friday 17 November 2017, been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Gaia, 19 and from Langton Matravers, was staying at an address in Swanage when she disappeared on the afternoon of Tuesday 7 November 2017.

Since her disappearance searches of the land and coastline in Swanage and surrounding area have taken place.

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Police search stream in hunt for missing teenager

The mystery over what has happened to missing Dorset teenager Gaia Pope has taken a new turn with police divers searching a stream near to her home in Swanage.

Officers have also released a CCTV image of her at a filling station, shortly before she disappeared.

Picture of missing teenager, just before she disappeared

Gaia pictured less than an hour before she disappeared Credit: Dorset Police

Police have released CCTV images of missing Swanage teenager Gaia Pope, taken less than an hour before she disappeared.

Gaia, 19, from Langton Matravers, was staying at an address in Swanage when she disappeared on the afternoon of Tuesday 7 November 2017.

Less than an hour before her last confirmed sighting at 3.39pm, she was being driven between Langton Matravers and Swanage by a family member when they stopped off for fuel at St Michael's Garage on Valley Road in Swanage. Gaia went into the garage to buy an ice cream at around 2.55pm before leaving.

Senior Investigating Office Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police's Major Crime Investigation Team, said: "We believe Gaia was wearing the same grey and white woven leggings and white trainers, but was last seen in a red checked shirt with white buttons. When she disappeared she was not wearing the black jacket pictured, which was recovered at an address in Manor Gardens.

"Our search efforts are continuing and I would again appeal to the public that if they have any information, however small, that could lead us to finding Gaia, please get in touch.

"Finally, I would like to offer my thoughts to Gaia's family and friends in what is an incredibly difficult time for them. It has been over a week since she went missing and we are doing all we can in order to find her."

The search to find Gaia is continuing. Search warrants have been taking place at two addresses in Swanage since Monday 13 November 2017. Scenes are likely to remain in place for some time.

A 19-year-old man and a 71-year-old woman, both from the Swanage area, were arrested on suspicion of murder. Both individuals have been released under investigation.

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