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Clothes found in Swanage field are believed to be Gaia Pope's

Gaia Search 2017 Swanage Coastguard

4:19pm 16th November 2017
(Updated 11:12am 18th November 2017)

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Swanage teenager Gaia Pope have released a third person under investigation.

The 49-year-old man, who lives in Swanage and is known to Gaia, was arrested on Thursday 16th Novemberon suspicion of murder.

Today (Friday 17th November) he's been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

19 year old Gaia and from Langton Matravers, was staying at an address in Swanage when she disappeared on the afternoon of Tuesday 7th November.

Since her disappearance searches of the land and coastline in Swanage and surrounding area have taken place.

A mass volunteer search of Swanage for missing teenager Gaia Pope will take place tomorrow (Saturday 18th November).

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(Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell, above)

Some items of clothing were found in a field near Swanage yesterday morning (Thursday 16th November).

Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell, of the Major Crime Investigation Team at Dorset Police, has given an update on that:

"The clothing located south of Priests Way appear to be Gaia's and her family have confirmed they match what she was believed to have been wearing the day she went missing.

"Yesterday and today specialist officers and teams, supported by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, the coastguard, national search advisors and the NPAS helicopter, have been conducting detailed searches and forensic examinations of fields and open areas. Wide area searches have also been carried out with the assistance of Dorset Search and Rescue and volunteers in the community.

"Our search area spans over many square miles of grassland, gorse, bracken and undulating difficult terrain and the public can expect to see officers continuing searches there for a number of days and beyond. We would like to repeat our thanks to them for their support and understanding as our large scale investigation continues.

"The community will be aware that this rural area surrounding Purbeck is a wide expanse of challenging ground, much of which is exposed to the elements. In addition, the cliffs along the coast are dangerous and the seas can be unpredictable. While we are grateful to the public's ongoing help, I would like to advise them not to put themselves in danger and to allow the specially-trained experts to cover this area in a controlled manner. Coordinated local volunteers who are in liaison with the police search operation are continuing to assist.

"Finally, and most importantly, our thoughts remain with Gaia's family at this extremely distressing and difficult time. Specially-trained officers continue to support and update them and their wellbeing is central to our actions." 

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(Location of Gaia's last sighting, above)

Search warrants were carried out at two addresses in Swanage on Monday (November 13th) and searches there are coming to an end now.

As part of our investigations, three vehicles have been seized.

A 19-year-old man and a 71-year-old woman, both from the Swanage area and who are known to Gaia, were arrested on suspicion of murder.

Both individuals have been released under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 14:108. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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