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Missing Alice Gross: Homicide team takes over search

Alice Gross Image copyright ALice Gross family campaign FB page
Image caption Alice Gross does not have an Oyster card with her and her phone is switched off, according to her family

Scotland Yard's homicide team has taken over the investigation into a missing 14-year-old girl as new CCTV footage of her on a canal path has been found.

Alice Gross of Hanwell, west London was last seen by her family on 28 August.

The Met said CCTV footage showed her walking along the Grand Union Canal towpath alone near the Holiday Inn at Brentford Lock that afternoon.

The force said the homicide team had "taken the lead" on the case which it claimed was "not unusual".

Image copyright Google
Image caption CCTV captured Alice walking along the Grand Union Canal at Brentford Lock on Thursday afternoon

The CCTV images, which have not yet been released publicly, show Alice walking in the direction of the River Thames at 14:23 BST and at the same point heading towards Hanwell at 15:45.

Alice, who has been described as having "health concerns" was last seen by her family at about 13:00.

Det Ch Insp Andy Chalmers said: "As a matter of course the investigation has now been taken over by the Homicide and Major Crime Command but we continue to liaise closely with our borough colleagues to find Alice."

He said it was not unusual in such cases for homicide officers to provide "additional expertise and a fresh perspective".

Mr Chalmers added: "I would like to stress that there is no change to the status of this investigation. This is, and continues to be treated as, a missing person's inquiry."

Image caption Celebrities have been retweeting an online appeal to find Alice

At the weekend, Alice's mother Rosalind Hodgkiss appealed for her daughter to "let someone know you are safe" on the Facebook group Find Alice Gross,.

In the message she wrote: "You may be sad, you may be angry, you may be hurt, you may be scared too. I just want to hug and hold you.

"Know that we love you and are there for you whatever you are going through. Alice please come home. Mum xxxxxx"

Image copyright Met Police

Police have appealed for anyone who saw Alice on the towpath or who befriended her while she was on a songwriting workshop at the Camden Roundhouse to contact them

The Brentside High School student has been described as being 5ft 2in tall, slim, with shoulder-length light brown hair.

When she was last seen, she was wearing dark blue jeans, a dark green lacy cardigan and denim Van's shoes. She may also be wearing tartan-framed spectacles.

The teenager does not have her Oyster card with her and her phone appears to be switched off, her sister said.

Celebrities including Graham Norton have retweeted an online appeal to find her.

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