Kent

Missing Louise Kerton: Father 'still hopeful' 16 years on

Louise Kerton Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Louise Kerton was due to return to England when she disappeared on 30 July 2001

The father of a student nurse who went missing 16 years ago says he lives in hope that he will see her again.

Louise Kerton, 24, from Broadstairs, in Kent, was last seen on 30 July 2001 in Germany when she went to catch a train to Belgium, on her way back to the UK.

Despite extensive investigations in both the UK and Germany, she has not been seen or heard from since.

As a fresh appeal was launched, Phil Kerton said: "There's always hope. Hope is a virtue that keeps people going."

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Ms Kerton had been in Germany visiting her fiance's family in the village of Strassfeld, near Bonn, after failing the final part of her nursing training.

She had been living with Peter Simon in Broadstairs in the months before her disappearance, and had been due to catch a train from Aachen to Ostend in Belgium from where she would have boarded a ferry back to Dover.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Kerton visited Germany several times to search for his daughter

Police in Germany closed the investigation file on Ms Kerton in 2011.

The Mirror newspaper has published an advert by the Missing People charity appealing for information about Ms Kerton.

Her father, from New Ash Green, said there were several theories about what could have happened to her.

Describing his daughter as a "very naive and trusting person", he said: "If she did get on the train she could've got talking to someone about her problems with her medical nursing course... and she could've got taken into a cult of some sort.

"She could've gone for a walk around Ostend and come to a sticky end there, or she could've run away from the family and the village she was staying in because it was probably a bit too peaceful for her."

Mr Kerton added that her disappearance would be easier for him to cope with if he knew what had happened to her.

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