Maddie Thomas: Nationwide hunt as abducted child 'could be anywhere in the country'
Police searching for abducted Maddie Thomas want their appeal to go nationwide - and say the vulnerable 15-year-old could be anywhere in the country.
Detectives in Bristol who have been looking for Maddie for the past two weeks now said they are treating her disappearance as child abduction, and appealed for the teenager to get in touch with them if she can.
Maddie has been missing since Tuesday, April 26, and has been the subject of appeals to find her a couple of times in the past few months.
On those previous occasions she has been located in Bristol, but now - with Maddie being missing for a fortnight - police said they are growing increasingly worried about her safety and fear she could have left Bristol.
“The circumstances of her disappearance are deeply worrying for us; her family and her carers," said Det Insp Laura Miller, who is leading the search.
"We have a number of lines of enquiry and while we’ve had great deal of help from the public to date for which we’re incredibly grateful, we still need more. Officers have carried out CCTV enquiries in the Southmead area where Maddie was last seen and posters have also been handed out to local residents by officers going house to house. But Maddie could be anywhere in the country and so we really need our appeal to be shared and reported on as widely as possible," she added.
Police believe she is likely to be with a man, and said they are now treating her disappearance as a case of child abduction. “We are no longer investigating Maddie’s disappearance as a missing person case but as a child abduction," said Det Insp Miller.
“When Maddie has previously gone missing she has been found in the company of adult men and it is mainly due to this history that we believe she is likely to currently be with someone. Maddie is a child in foster care, no one has permission to keep her from her carers. She is vulnerable and at risk of being taken advantage of. We’re really concerned about her safety and have a dedicated team working extremely hard to locate her," she added.
"No one has seen or heard from Maddie for 15 days – since she saw a relative on 26 April when she said she was going to the shop. We’re asking anyone who sees Maddie to call 999 immediately and anyone who speaks to her or sees her online to call 101. Maddie – if you see this please contact us if you can to let us know you’re safe. Everyone is worried about you," she added.
Police said anyone who sees Maddie anywhere in the country should call 999 immediately. If they hear from her, see her online or hear anything about where she might be, they should call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5222098703. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.