Police hunting for missing teenager Owen Harding have issued CCTV images and are urging drivers to check their dashcams.
Owen’s heartbroken mother is “desperately worried” about her son amid fears he has gone out in lockdown on foot to walk the 280 miles to his girlfriend’s home in Pocklington, East Yorkshire.
The 16-year-old’s disappearance from his home in Saltdean, near Brighton, East Sussex, has drawn national attention, with TV presenter and family friend Nadia Sawalha among those sharing the appeal.
On Thursday – a week after he was last seen – Sussex Police issued a plea for motorists to check their dashcam footage.
Were you driving along the A259 at #Saltdean last Thursday between 6 and 7pm? If so, can you help us find missing 16-year-old Owen Harding? Have you got dashcam footage? If you can help, please contact us urgently. https://t.co/5drQtI4oM8pic.twitter.com/9iT4tADkZo
— Sussex Police #StayHomeSaveLives (@sussex_police) April 2, 2020
Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry said: “We are aware of his connection to Yorkshire and suggestions that he may have set out to walk there to see his girlfriend.
“We have not discounted this, but there are no indications at all to support this or indeed that he has left Sussex.”
Anyone who sees him should call 999 immediately, and anyone who has seen him or knows of his whereabouts should call 101 or report it online, quoting Operation Chartwell.
Owen is white, between 5ft 11in and 6ft, and of athletic build, with short brown hair.
He normally wears white trainers and a dark hoodie, and is thought to have been wearing dark joggers, police said.
DCI Henry added: “We would like to thank the public for their support in our investigation and while we appreciate people would like to help with our searches, we are urging everyone to abide by Government guidance at all times.
“We are utilising all of our available resources to search locally and will, of course, link up with colleagues across the country if there is anything to suggest that he has travelled out of Sussex.
“We are very keen to hear from anyone who can help us in our search for him. This may be through dashcam footage, local CCTV along the A259 between Newhaven and Brighton, by identifying the person in Bevendean Avenue or anything else, no matter how small you think that might be, that might lead to his safe return.”
A CCTV photo shows Owen walking south in Bannings Vale around 6.50pm on March 26 was released today by Sussex Police.
Another photo has emerged of a person meeting Owen’s description walking by a house in Bevendean Avenue, heading south, at 6.08pm that day, but it is not clear if it is him. If anyone recognises this person and it is not Owen, police would also like to hear from them so that that line of enquiry may be ruled out.