South West Wales

Facebook Ohio tourist Kate Barnes 'still missing in Wales'

Kate Barnes and Nathan Smith
Image caption Kathryn 'Kate' Barnes with friend Nathan Smith in New York last August

The friend of a US tourist, missing since visiting Facebook friends in Wales, has urged her to get in touch.

Kathryn 'Kate' Barnes, 32, arrived in the UK from Ohio in November and was last seen on 4 January near Swansea train station.

"I am extremely worried about her as her disappearance is not normal behaviour," said Nathan Smith, who she planned to visit in Derbyshire.

South Wales Police said there was nothing to suggest she was in any harm.

"Kate had originally planned to see a few Facebook friends around Wales before coming to see me in Chesterfield, Derbyshire but she never came," said Mr Smith.

"Kate is a very dear friend and her disappearance is very distressing for all of us."

Mr Smith said he wanted to reach out to her to make contact with her friends to let them know she is safe.

"If anyone knows where she is or even if you see her in the street, please contact the police," said Mr Smith.

"We are all missing her and are worried about her.

'Information'

"We need to know that she is safe. We need to know that she's okay. We need to know that she's alive."

Det Ch Insp Simon Davies said officers were following up all lines of inquiry in order to trace her to confirm that she is safe and well.

"There is nothing to suggest that Kate has come to any harm and the information we are receiving is that she is still in the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot area," he said.

Det Ch Insp Davies said officers were concerned for her welfare and safety and were asking anyone who has seen her to contact them.

Ms Barnes is described as 5ft 7ins (1.7m) in height with sandy coloured hair which may currently be dyed black.

Image caption Police have said Kate Barnes's hair may be dyed black from her natural sandy colour.

Police said she has a British flag tattoo on her wrist and a dragon tattoo on her calf.

She was last seen wearing a black top, blue jeans, a grey jumper and wedged boots.

'Terrifying'

She speaks with an American accent and has stayed as various addresses in the Swansea, Pontardawe and Milford Haven areas.

When it was first revealed she had gone missing on 13 January, Ms Barnes' mother Lisa Schoonover said her disappearance was "terrifying" and that her family was desperate to speak to her.

Mrs Schoonover, who lives in the US, said: "On 8 November our daughter departed for the UK to visit friends she had met on the social network Facebook.

"Our last contact with Kate was on 4 December.

"Since then, all of her contact information from Facebook has been deleted."

"We have no information at all on her whereabouts or condition.

"The friends she went to visit have co-operated with the police but have no information that has been helpful in locating Kate.

"We love Kate and are we very concerned for her safety.

"Not knowing what has become of her is terrifying for all of our family.

"It is not like her not to find a way to communicate with us, even to just say she is safe and well."

South Wales Police have asked for anyone with information as to her whereabouts to contact police in Swansea on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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