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‘Please just walk through the door’ – Mum of missing student makes emotional plea for daughter’s return

PUBLISHED: 20:06 27 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:18 28 December 2017

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

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

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The mother of missing 21-year-old Sophie Smith has made emotional plea for her daughter to come home.

Sophie Smith, 21, who has been missing since Boxing Day morning from Gorleston. (Photo: With permission of @sarah_janee_xo) Sophie Smith, 21, who has been missing since Boxing Day morning from Gorleston. (Photo: With permission of @sarah_janee_xo)

The student disappeared from her family home in Avondale Road, Gorleston at about 3am on Boxing Day (Tuesday).

An extensive search operation took place immediately after she was reported missing involving the coastguard, police helicopter, police units, specialist search teams and lifeboat crews.

In a Facebook post her mum Lynn Shaw wrote: “Sophie Smith you are my world, why didn’t I protect you, please come home. Please just walk through the door.”

Family and friends have taken to social media to share images of Sophie to help try to find her, with some posts being shared thousands of times.

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

Search efforts

A search operation is being led from the Pier Hotel near the family’s seaside home.

The police are leading the search with specially trained volunteers from Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue (NorLSAR) and they are focussing their efforts on a 2km radius around the family home.

Chairman of the charity Eleanor Jones said around 50 members of the public joined the search efforts responding to a Facebook post by friends and relatives of Sophie.

She added: “We’re looking for somewhere she could have hidden herself away out of the elements.”

Sophie’s family, friends and volunteers from the community helped in the search efforts, handing out posters and looking around the area.

Missing posters have been put up in houses and businesses in the vicinity and police have been going door to door in their search efforts.

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