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Missing Sophie Smith suffered from severe anxiety and depression, police reveal

Sophie Smith, who has gone missing from Gorleston. Photo: Norfolk Police

Sophie Smith, who has gone missing from Gorleston. Photo: Norfolk Police

Norfolk Police

Missing student Sophie Smith suffers from severe anxiety and depression police have revealed, with the lead officer adding hopes of finding her alive are fading with each passing hour.

Sophie, a 21-year-old student at the UEA, went missing from her home in Avondale Road in Gorleston in the early hours of Boxing Day.

She left her Avondale Road home at around 3am, believed to be only wearing a dark coloured vest top and light coloured shorts.

At a media briefing at Great Yarmouth police station Inspector Will Drummond said: “What we have got is we have got an image, we believe to be an image of her, running from the home address and towards the beach in Avondale Road.

“She is wearing a vest top and shorts, which is quite unprepared for the weather.

Insp Will Drummond updates the media on the disapperance of Sophie Smith,
Picture: George RyanInsp Will Drummond updates the media on the disapperance of Sophie Smith, Picture: George Ryan

“What I can say is that from speaking to the family in great detail, Sophie suffers from severe anxiety and depression, which she is being treated for.

“There was a level of what I would call preparation prior to running away. I think the combination of the preparation and her mental state at the time, comments made, may suggest there is a likelihood that unfortunately she may have gone into the sea.”

Insp Drummond said it was still being treated as a missing persons enquiry but added the first 48 hours of any search are vital in locating missing people.

Insp Drummond then added: “We have diligently searched for Sophie and have investigated a range of scenarios but unfortunately there have been no confirmed sightings or contact since she left her property at 3am.

“We have spoken to friends and family, conducted house to house enquiries and checked her social media accounts. We have liaised with local hospitals, places she’s known to have links and House to house enquires.

“We have also conducted a widespread search, including possible CCTV sightings, but unfortunately nothing has been found. I would like to take this opportunity to ask the public to check their sheds and outbuildings in case Sophie has got disorientated and slept in the nearest place of shelter.”

Sophie is white about 5ft 8, of a slim build with shoulder length blonde hair. It is believed she was wearing a dark coloured vest top and light coloured shorts.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101.

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