One week on and still no sign of missing student Sophie Smith as searches continue
PUBLISHED: 12:42 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 19:34 02 January 2018
Fears are mounting for the safety of missing student Sophie Smith who vanished from her home in Gorleston a week ago.
Hundreds of local people have helped the police, coastguard and other expert search and rescue teams desperately looking for the 21-year-old woman.
She disappeared from her home in Avondale Road at 3am on Boxing Day and there has been no sign of her since.
CCTV footage captured her heading towards the seafront a short time later wearing just a vest and shorts, completely unprepared for the weather and without her mobile phone.
There has been widespread praise for the rallying response of the community.
Organisers of the Find Sophie Smith Facebook group which now has more than 29,000 members have been appealing for hi-vis vests.
Meanwhile one of the page’s nine administrators Tom Mardell made it clear in a post that people needed to be “slightly realistic” about the possible scenario that Sophie entered the sea that night, warning that children should not be involved in searches, adding: “I feel it’s right it has be said.”
He thanked everyone that had been searching, saying: “You are doing the family proud.”
Police have said that it is likely Sophie, a UEA student who was home for the holidays, had gone into the sea.
Some people on social media have changed their profile picture to a yellow awareness ribbon as the search continues.
Air patrols will also be carried out by volunteers from Sky Watch Civil Air Patrol for the next two weeks.
Anyone with information about Sophie should call Norfolk Police on 101.
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