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Reward of £5,000 offered in search for missing Gorleston student Sophie Smith

PUBLISHED: 18:50 30 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:59 31 December 2017

Three images of missing Sophie Smith, who has not been seen since she left her Gorleston home in the early hours of Boxing Day morning. Pictures: With permission of @sarah_janee_xo/Norfolk Police

Three images of missing Sophie Smith, who has not been seen since she left her Gorleston home in the early hours of Boxing Day morning. Pictures: With permission of @sarah_janee_xo/Norfolk Police

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A reward of £5,000 has been offered for information which leads to the safe return of missing Gorleston student Sophie Smith.

A fresh search was carried out this afternoon along the coasteline as the community helps to try and find Sophie Smith. Picture: Thomas Chapman A fresh search was carried out this afternoon along the coasteline as the community helps to try and find Sophie Smith. Picture: Thomas Chapman

The gesture has been made by Jason Smith, from Gorleston-based RJS Builders and will only be paid following information which leads directly to the safe return of the 21-year-old.

Miss Smith has been missing since 3am on Boxing Day after leaving her home in Avondale Road in Gorleston wearing just a vest and shorts. She did not have her mobile phone with her.

CCTV footage captured her heading towards the seafront a short time later, but there have been no other confirmed sightings since then.

Sophie’s disappearance has prompted a remarkable reaction from local people and hundreds joined the emergency services to help scour the coastline in the hope that she will be found.

Two further searches - organised by the Find Sophie Smith Facebook group - took place in coastal areas this afternoon (December 30).

At midday, a group gathered at the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth before spreading themselves out as widely as possible along the beach and trekking north through Caister-on-Sea, California and beyond.

Whilst the first search was still going on, a second search began at Hopton Holiday Village from 2.30pm.

Miss Smith’s father this week made an heart-wrenching appeal for his daughter to come back home - telling her that her family and friends love her.

The University of East Anglia biomedicine student had been suffering from severe anxiety and depression and police believe the “most likely scenario” is she entered the sea at Gorleston.

Sophie is described as white, about 5ft 8in and slim with shoulder-length blonde hair.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Sophie Smith should contact Norfolk police immediately on 101.

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