Missing student left note about taking her own life

Sophie Smith (21) from Gorleston in Norfolk went missing on Boxing Day.

Police have confirmed that missing Norfolk student Sophie Smith left her family a note confirming her intentions to take her own life.

The 21-year-old student from Gorleston near Great Yarmouth, who went missing on Boxing Day, had been suffering severe anxiety and depression.

Sophie's mother, Lynn Shaw, is urging others suffering from similar mental health problems not to fight that battle alone and seek help.

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Inspector Will Drummond said: "We know from speaking to her family that Sophie had previously spoken about her intention to enter the sea to take her own life. Sadly, we can also confirm that Sophie had left a note and messages for loved ones, outlining her intentions.”

"Sophie’s step-father Kevin and I would like to thank the public and police for their continued support and dedication in searching for Sophie. "In our hearts we hold every hope she will return safe and well. However, as a family, knowing the troubles she was experiencing, we do fear the worst for our little girl. "Sophie had openly discussed how she was struggling and was receiving treatment. I would urge anyone suffering anxiety or depression not to fight that battle alone and seek help.”

Sophie’s mother, Lynn Shaw

Sophie's father Martin Knowles says he still has hope that she will be found alive.

Mr Knowles says he didn't know his daughter was depressed but is urging others with the condition to seek help.

Police have carried out comprehensive enquiries since her disappearance on Boxing Day.

The last and only CCTV image of Sophie was at 3am on Boxing Day running in the direction of the beach.

Police say she had openly discussed her depression with her mother and close family and friends, who had been supporting her.

Sophie had also been receiving treatment for her mental health.