Dorset

Two arrested over missing Dorset teenager Gaia Pope

Gaia Pope Image copyright PA
Image caption Gaia Pope was last seen in Swanage on 7 November

A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a teenager who has not been seen for nearly a week.

Dorset Police said a 19-year-old man and a 71-year-old woman were arrested in connection with the disappearance of Gaia Pope, 19, who has severe epilepsy.

The teenager, from Langton Matravers, was staying in Swanage when she disappeared on 7 November.

Searches took place at two addresses in Swanage and the man and woman were arrested.

Police said they were both known to Gaia.

The last reported sighting of the teenager was by Rosemary Dinch at an address in Manor Gardens on Morrison Road in Swanage.

Image caption Rosemary Dinch, a friend of the family, is believed to be the last person to see Gaia on Tuesday 7 November

The family friend told the BBC Gaia "pounded" on her door and spent about 20 minutes at her house.

She said: "She was very upset, she slid to the floor at one point, I gave her a cuddle and she responded to me - I have no idea where she is - she just seems to have disappeared."

She was said to be wearing a red checked shirt with white buttons, grey and white woven leggings and white trainers and she went missing without her medication.

'Come to harm'

On Saturday, Dorset Police released CCTV footage of what they believe was Gaia running past a house in Morrison Road at about 15:40.

Det Ch Insp Neil Devoto, who is leading the investigation, said on Monday: "It has been almost a week since Gaia's last confirmed sighting and she has not been seen or heard from since.

"We have looked through CCTV that covers the Swanage area, including transport hubs, and there is nothing to suggest she has left the area.

"Her disappearance is completely out of character and, following our extensive inquiries, we sadly now believe that she may have come to harm.

"We have not yet found Gaia and our searches will continue.

"Our specially-trained officers have updated Gaia's family and are supporting them at this very difficult time."

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