Mother of RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague urges Facebook group to help in search for missing Gorleston student Sophie Smith

PUBLISHED: 11:49 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 28 December 2017

Sophie Smith, who has gone missing from Gorleston. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

Sophie Smith, who has gone missing from Gorleston. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

Norfolk Police

The mother of serviceman Corrie McKeague has urged members of a social media group dedicated to finding the RAF gunner to help in the search for a missing student from Norfolk.

Nicola Urquhart, mother of Corrie McKeague. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Nicola Urquhart, mother of Corrie McKeague. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Nicola Urquhart made a plea to the followers of the Find Corrie Facebook group to aid the family of Sophie Smith, 21, from Gorleston, who has been missing since the early hours of Boxing Day.

The University of East Anglia biomedicine student left her family’s home in Avondale Road wearing just a vest and shorts without her mobile phone around 3am.

The Find Corrie group was set up following the disappearance of the RAF Honington-based airman and has amassed more than 126,500 supporters.

Mrs Urquhart said: “Can I ask any of the amazing people on here that are close by to the area in Norfolk to help this family in their search for Sophie.”

The community in the Gorleston area has turned out in force to help in the search for missing Sophie.

The search operation, led by police with specially-trained volunteers from Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue (NorLSAR), started from the Pier Hotel, near the family’s house on Wednesday.

The search is focusing on 2km raduis around the seaside home.

Inspector Will Drummond, who is leading the search efforts for Norfolk Police, said the force does not believe her disappearance to be suspicious.

He said: “I know that Sophie has been going through a rough time prior to going missing. I can’t really say any more than that at the moment but it forms part of our enquiries.

“This is the first time she has gone missing, which makes it very concerning for us and also the fact she doesn’t have a mobile phone with her, so it would be very hard for her to reach out or for us to make contact with her.

“We are increasingly concerned about her due to her previous behaviour just before going, and the fact we think she left so unprepared for the weather with regards to clothing.

“It’s worrying because it’s the first time she’s gone missing, the weather is extremely cold outside and we know she doesn’t have any other clothes there.

“We have spoken to all her family and friends at this time and she has not made contact with them, which makes us increasingly concerned for her.”

Anyone with any information regarding her whereabouts is asked to call Norfolk police on 101.

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