Police comb private land in search for missing Laurel Aldridge

Sussex Police officers are searching private land in the hunt for missing Laurel Aldridge.

Mrs Aldridge, sister-in-law of The Office actor Mackenzie Crook, was reported missing on February 14.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, Mr Crook said his family are “clutching at straws” a week after the disappearance of his wife’s older sister, 62, but they remain “determined and driven” to find her.

Mr Crook said her disappearance has been “agonising” for the family. He said they believe her disappearance could be linked to her ongoing chemotherapy treatment.

Sussex Police have released a new photograph of Mrs Aldridge, taken on the day she went missing.

Laurel Aldridge missing
Signs in the village of Walberton, West Sussex, seeking help to find missing person Laurel Aldridge (Katie Boyden/PA)

The force said it was continuing the search for Mrs Aldridge on private land on Tuesday, after she went missing from her home in Walberton, in the Arundel area of West Sussex.

She was last spotted at Slindon Cricket Club, a 10-minute drive from Walberton, and two Sussex Police dog unit vehicles as well as another car with missing posters stuck to its rear windscreen were seen parked at the club.

Police search teams with dogs have searched a significant rural area, the force said, joined by a National Police Air Service helicopter, drones and the volunteer specialist Sussex search teams.

Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges said: “We would like to thank the public for the information which has been provided to us thus far. Our officers have been working around the clock pursuing multiple lines of enquiry and are determined to find Laurel.

“We are working closely with Laurel’s family, offering them support and providing them with regular updates on the investigation. They too have also appealed for information to help find her.”

Walberton residents described the Sussex Police search effort as “amazing” and said the village had nothing but sympathy for the family.

One resident, who did not want to be named, told the PA news agency: “The police presence has been very much noticed, it’s the talk of the village.

Mackenzie Crook
Mrs Aldridge is the sister-in-law of Mackenzie Crook (Ian West/PA)

“The actor (Mackenzie Crook) said the same thing and it’s nice to have the police praised for once.

“I didn’t know her but I know a lot of people who do.

“I suppose she went out of the village as there’s lots of woodland towards the Downs, so if she wanted to hide away there she’s got plenty of places she would never be found.

“There’s a lot of sympathy for the situation, rather than people coming to conclusions or speculation, after what happened to Nicola Bulley we don’t want to speculate.”

Another person, who works at a village business and also did not want to be named, said: “The police have been great, knocking on everybody’s doors.

Sussex Police dog unit vehicles at Slindon Cricket Club
Sussex Police dog unit vehicles at Slindon Cricket Club (Katie Boyden/PA)

“We get so many customers it’s hard to know if she might have come in.

“A woman went missing from Barnham a few years ago but they found her body in the woods a year later.”

Mrs Aldridge is described as being around 5ft 4in with grey/blonde highlighted hair and sometimes wears glasses.

She was last seen wearing a turquoise fleece, a maroon tartan scarf and brown hat. She also had a grey puffer jacket with her which she is likely to have been wearing.

Drivers are asked to report to Sussex Police online or via 101 if there is someone who matches her description in their dashcam footage, especially if they have driven around the A27 or A29.