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  1. ITV Report

Gaia Pope: New CCTV images of missing teenager released

  • Video report by ITV News Wales & West of England Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

New CCTV images of missing teenager Gaia Pope taken less than an hour before she disappeared a week ago, have been released by Dorset Police.

The two images show the 19-year-old in a petrol station buying an ice cream at around 2.55pm on 7 November.

She had been 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, who has epilepsy, was last seen less than an hour later at around 4pm at an address in Swanage.

Gaia was buying an ice cream at St Michael's Garage on Valley Road in Swanage. Credit: Dorset Police/PA Wire

Gaia's cousin, Marienna Pope-Weidemann, told ITV News the ordeal was like "one really long nightmare".

"She's wonderful. We love her to bits. She's very close to the family, she's home every night. It's completely unprecedented for her," she said.

"We reported Gaia missing on the last day she was seen. We knew she didn't have a phone. We knew she didn't have a coat. And we know she always keeps in touch with us and always comes home, because of the seriousness of her condition.

"Home is where she feels safe. The family is where she feels safe. So we knew straight away something wasn't right.

"She's like a sister to me. Her sisters would be here if they could face it. They're devastated. The whole family's crushed."

Forensic investigations are continuing at two properties which are believed to be the homes of a 71-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man who were released under investigation on Tuesday after being arrested on suspicion of murder by police the previous day.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Devoto, who is leading the investigation, 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.

Gaia, 19, has been missing since 7 November. Credit: PA

"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 the teenager has continued with search teams focusing all their efforts inland in Swanage and the surrounding area, supported by Dorset search and rescue and specialist units from neighbouring police forces.

On Tuesday Gaia's family vowed to find their "darling girl" and said the thought of seeing her smile was keeping them all "going and hoping".