A new picture has been released of missing 16-year-old Louise Smith as the search for her enters its 11th day
Police have appealed to VE day revellers to check video footage they took on May 8 to help aid their search of missing 16-year-old Louise Smith, with a new picture emerging of the schoolgirl.
As the hunt for her entered its 11th day, police continued searching a woodland area, a thicket and the waters of a lake in a country park near Havant, Hampshire.
But detectives looking for the teenager said that people who videoed VE Day celebrations in driveways and on the streets could have vital footage relating to the 16-year-old’s disappearance.
A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘Officers searching for missing 16-year-old Louise from Havant are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed anything significant, or captured anything on video, during VE Day celebrations on Friday May 8.
‘Louise was last see at around midday on VE Day in Somborne Drive, Havant. She has not been in contact since. This is very out of character for her and both her family and police are understandably concerned for her welfare.
‘We are keen to hear from anyone who was celebrating VE Day on their driveways in Leigh Park or who drove through the area on Friday May 8.’
Chief Inspector Alex Reading said: ‘We know a lot of people would have been out on their driveways on VE Day and may have been filming the celebrations in their neighbourhood on camera or mobile phone.
‘If you were out celebrating or filming on VE Day in Leigh Park, we ask you to please take a look back over your footage to see if you captured Louise walking by.
Louise Smith disappeared around midday on May 8 and has not been contactable since
Chief Inspector Alex Reading has pleaded with those within Leigh Park on the day of Louise’s disappearance to check any video footage they have that may aid their investigation
‘Perhaps you drove through the area on VE Day and saw someone matching Louise’s description, or caught her on dashcam. Please check your dashcam footage from this day to see if it captured anything that could help our investigation.
‘I would like to thank the public for all their support, as I know this will be concerning for the community. We are still treating this as a missing person investigation and our priority is to find Louise and make sure she is safe.
‘We can’t be certain what she was wearing at the time of her disappearance, or what she is likely to be wearing now, but she was described as wearing black jeans, a black and white striped tee-shirt, black trainers and a black coat with a fur hood on Thursday May 7.
Hampshire Police and tracker dogs search Staunton Country Park near Havant, Hampshire
Staunton Country Park is a listed Regency landscaped parkland and forest encompassing approximately 1,000 acres
‘Officers have been conducting extensive inquiries and searches in Leigh Park and Havant, and these inquiries will continue today in the Havant Thicket and Staunton Country Park areas.’
Although the head of the police search for Louise Smith claimed it was ‘still very much a missing person investigation,’ scores of volunteer and professional searchers were probing the lake and also a nearby woodland.
Police had moved into searching the Havant thicket and Staunton Country Park, including the lake within the listed beauty spot as two people were arrested and bailed on suspicion of kidnap.
Louise was last seen wearing black jeans, a black and white striped t-shirt, black trainers and a black coat with a fur hood
Louise was last seen 11 days ago and has not been heard from since she went out to a local skate park, where her phone was switched off meaning it could no longer be traced.
Friends of the teenager, who was pictured wearing a striking teal prom dress and headpiece, claimed Louise had said she was only going out for a short time at midday on Friday May 8, when she was expected to return home to spend the weekend with her boyfriend who had arrived to stay.
Instead Louise disappeared and as the days went by, police investigators began to suspect foul play, arresting a man and a woman, both aged 29 years, on suspicion of kidnap last Friday. The pair have since been released on police bail.
Her phone signal was traced to Emsworth skate park near Havant, Hampshire, at 2pm on May 8, the day she went missing
Searchers were joined by volunteers from the Isle of Wight Search and Rescue team, who travelled across the Solent to join teams from Hampshire, Berkshire, Sussex and Surrey, which included tracker dogs.
Police had encouraged people to stay away from Staunton Country Park, a listed Regency landscaped parkland and forest encompassing approximately 1,000 acres near Louise’s home town of Havant, Hampshire, as the officers conducted a search.
Witnesses saw the search teams investigating in the waters of the ornamental lake in the country park and the woodland surrounding the maze and glasshouses situated in the gardens.