Police probing teenager Gaia Pope's disappearance find women's clothing in field

Detectives investigating the disappearance of a teenager who has not been seen for more than a week have discovered "items of women's clothing" in a field.

A major inquiry is under way to find Gaia Pope, 19, who vanished from the Swanage area of Dorset on the afternoon of November 7.

Police said the clothing was found at 10.28am on Thursday by a member of the public in an area of open land north of the coastal path near Swanage.

A missing person notice for Gaia Pope in Swanage
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

The owner of the clothes has not yet been identified, but detectives have informed Miss Pope's family of the find, the force said.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Devoto, who is leading the investigation, said: "Following the discovery of these items of clothing, a full and thorough search will now take place in the field and surrounding area.

"We have seized the clothing and investigations will now be carried out to identify who they belong to.

"We have updated Gaia's family who continue to be supported by specially-trained officers. Our thoughts remain with them at this very difficult time."

#LatestNews Items of women's clothing have been found in a field near Swanage. The discovery was made at 10.28am today in an area of open land north of the coastal path. Detectives searching for missing Gaia Pope have informed her family.

https://t.co/4xW7QsnNDx

-- Dorset Police (@dorsetpolice) November 16, 2017

Mr Devoto added: "We are doing everything possible to try and locate Gaia.

"I would like to renew my appeal to anyone who has information about where Gaia is or what has happened to her to please contact Dorset Police.

"I am also urging anyone who has seen any suspicious activity in the area of Morrison Road and Priests Way since November 7 to please contact us."

Earlier, Miss Pope's father, Richard Sutherland, made an emotional appeal to find his daughter and said he just wanted a "big hug" from her.

A police team searches a mill pond in Swanage
A police team searches a mill pond in Swanage (Jennifer Cockerell/PA)

"I can tell you this that the family is united together in this and we are united with the police and united with the public," Mr Sutherland told ITV News.

"I can't tell you how grateful we are to everybody out there, it's unbelievable."

Mr Sutherland added: "Gaia, you know we love you, you know that. I just want that big hug please, I just want a big hug. We'll get you back and we'll have that big hug."

Yesterday, the teenager's mother, Natasha Pope, urged people to look in vans, garages and houses in case she was being kept against her will.

Dorset Police has launched a major investigation to find Gaia and has been carrying out forensic examinations of two properties in the Swanage area, as well as searches of land around the town.

CCTV still of Gaia Pope less than an hour before she went missing
CCTV still of Gaia Pope less than an hour before she went missing (Dorset Police/PA)

The force released two CCTV images of the teenager taken inside St Michael's Garage in Swanage when she bought an ice cream.

Gaia was being driven between Langton Matravers and Swanage by a family member when they stopped off for fuel at around 2.55pm.

The last confirmed sighting of Gaia was at an address in Manor Gardens on Morrison Road in Swanage at about 4pm.

The black jacket Gaia was wearing in the CCTV images was recovered from an address in Manor Gardens.

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