Five released over missing Walsall student

Zoya Anwar Zoya Anwar went missing on 26 February

Five people arrested by police investigating the disappearance of a student from Walsall have been released without charge.

Zoya Anwar, 18, was last seen by friends at King Edward VI School in Handsworth, Birmingham, on 26 February.

West Midlands Police said she was not reported missing until Friday and they were concerned for her safety.

Four men and a woman, aged between 27 and 48, all from the Walsall area were arrested on suspicion of kidnap.

Police said they were all known to Zoya and their release came after several sightings of the teenager in the Digbeth area of Birmingham on Wednesday.

Despite the sightings, officers said she had yet to be found and urged anyone with information on the student's whereabouts to come forward.

She is described as Asian, of slim build, 5ft 6in tall and with shoulder-length black hair.

'Bright future'

Police said the "straight-A" student was due to pick up her A-Level exam results from King Edward VI School on Thursday.

Det Supt Joanne Chilton: "Obviously the fact we've had no contact from Zoya, our concern has escalated"

In a statement, Elisabeth Wager, head teacher at the school, described Zoya as an accomplished pupil with an "exemplary school record" and "a bright future ahead of her".

"She has firm friendships in the school and we are providing support as required to her friends and the wider school community," Ms Wager added.

Det Supt Jo Chilton said: "Zoya has never been missing before and it is very out of character for her.

"Whilst we are keeping an open mind, we are very concerned for her and need to know she is safe and well as a matter of urgency."

She said police had been looking into a number of possibilities over her disappearance, including her running away from home or being taken against her will.

There had been unconfirmed sightings of the missing teenager on Friday.

Det Supt Chilton said one sighting had placed her near a Birmingham railway station.

West Midlands Police has set up a dedicated call centre for anyone with information about her disappearance.

More on This Story

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Birmingham & Black Country

Weather

Birmingham

19 °C 12 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Have your say 09:46: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place. We'd like to hear what you think about the service, which we write here in Birmingham.

     
  2.  
    TOP HEADLINES
    • Handsworth shooting: Investigation continues
    • Cannabis: Drug grown 'to make ends meet'
    • Listen live: BBC WM
     
  3.  
    Firefighters ready to strike 09:36:

    Members of the public are being urged to take extra care at bonfire displays this weekend, as firefighters across the region begin a four-day strike tonight.

    Firefighters' strike

    The Fire Brigades Union will walk out from 18:00 this evening until 18:00 on Tuesday.

    Contingency plans are in place to ensure 999 calls are responded to, but response times will be slower than usual. The industrial action is part of a dispute with the government over pensions.

     
  4.  
    Halloween spirit 09:25: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Some of the world's rarest animal species at Dudley Zoological Gardens have been tucking into pumpkins to get into the Halloween spirit, including its Bornean orangutan Benji (pictured).

    Bornean orangutan Benji
     
  5.  
    Crooks armed with 'antiques' 09:08: Birmingham Mail

    Desperate Birmingham crooks are using antique, century-old pistols, say forensic experts leading the fight against gun crime.

     
  6.  
    News on the hour 08:59: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    Forensic teams are still investigating this morning after a man was taken to hospital following a shooting in Handsworth yesterday afternoon.

    More on this and other stories in the 09:00 bulletin on BBC WM.

     
  7.  
    Person missing after fireworks blaze 08:46: Tom Richardson BBC News Online

    One person is missing after a large blaze at a fireworks factory that saw two people taken to hospital.

    Dramatic bursts of fireworks and thick smoke could be seen as the fire burned in Stafford last night.

    The fire

    Although the blaze at the unit of SP Fireworks was brought under control, firefighters remained at the scene through the night.

     
  8.  
    Forensic investigations continue 08:36: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    Forensic teams are still investigating this morning after a man was taken to hospital following a shooting in Handsworth.

    The streets around Holliday Road remain closed. Gunshots were fired outside an address at 16:15 yesterday and a man was taken to hospital with a wound to the legs.

    His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

     
  9.  
    'Desperate' mother grew cannabis 08:24: Pete Morgan Presenter, BBC WM

    We've been speaking to a Walsall mother who claims she started growing and selling cannabis at home because she was so desperate for money.

    Tanya was eventually caught by police and given a one-year suspended sentence.

    Cannabis leaf

    West Midlands Police says cannabis farms are growing in popularity and they are uncovering three farms every day.

    Tanya said it was getting harder to find work which paid enough to cover the bills. Listen live here.

     
  10.  
    Breezy but warm 08:13: Mel Coles BBC Weather

    Any mist and the cloud will lift and disperse to reveal lengthy sunny spells. It will be breezy but feeling warm, with highs of 19C (66F).

     
  11.  
    Shooting inquiry closes road 08:07: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    Holliday Road, in Handsworth, is closed in both directions between the Tew Park Road and A41 Soho Road junctions, as police investigate a shooting which happened yesterday afternoon.

    The latest travel information is available here.

     
  12.  
    Good morning 08:00: Alex Homer BBC Local Live

    I'm back in the BBC WM newsroom bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather. You can get in touch via Twitter, email and Facebook.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • MonkeyMeet the tarsier

    The BBC travels to a Philippine island that is home to the world's oldest primate

Programmes

  • The Wrecking Crew OrchestraClick Watch

    The Japanese dance group using wearable technology to lighten up their act

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.