The father of missing teenager Gaia Pope broke down in tears today as he made an emotional public plea to find his daughter.
Richard Sutherland sobbed as he promised his daughter a “big hug” before thanking the public for their ongoing help in trying to locate the 19-year-old.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he said: “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.”
“I can tell you this, the family is united together in this, and we’re united with the police and with the public. I can’t tell you how grateful we are, to everybody, to everybody out there. It’s unbelievable. Thank you, thank you everybody.”
It comes as detectives hunting for the teenager, who disappeared a week ago, said “items of women’s clothing” have been found in a field north of the coastal path near Swanage.
Gaia vanished on the afternoon of November 7 after leaving her aunt’s house without medication for severe epilepsy.
A man, believed to be Paul Elsey, 49, was arrested yesterday on suspicion of murder.
He is known to Gaia and lives at the same address as his nephew, Nathan Elsey, 19, a friend of Gaia’s, and his grandmother Rosemary Dinch, 71, who were also both arrested on suspicion of murder but released under investigation.
Paul Elsey’s father, Greg Elsey, said of his son yesterday: “He’s protested his innocence 110 per cent and I have 110 per cent belief that he will be released when they find out he has done nothing.”