News

Father of Gaia Pope breaks down on Good Morning Britain as he appeals for help

Richard Sutherland is desperate to find out what's happened to the vulnerable 19-year-old

| Updated:

The desperate father of missing teenager Gaia Pope broke down as he appealed for help in finding his daughter on Good Morning Britain.

Richard Sutherland appeared alongside Gaia’s cousin, as they asked the public to be on alert and submit any information they have about the 19-year-old.

Police, meanwhile, have confirmed they have launched a murder investigation, believing harm has come to the vulnerable young woman, who suffers with sever epilepsy.

A 49-year-old man is currently being questioned on suspicion of murder.

Yesterday we reported that Gaia’s mother, Natasha Pope, believed she was being held against her will after vanishing last week.

Gaia was last seen on November 7 at around 4pm by her friend’s grandmother, who has claimed the teenager visited her home in Swanage, Dorset in an apparently “agitated and upset” state.

The grandmother and her grandson were both arrested on suspicion of murder this week before being released under investigation.

Facebook / FIND GAIA
Gaia Pope went missing on November 7 in Swanage (Credit: Facebook / FIND GAIA)

The teenager has been described as a vulnerable young woman because she suffers from severe epilepsy and PTSD which requires medication.

Family have said the disappearance is completely out of character and they’re concerned for her well-being.

Read more: Well-wishes pour in for Paul O’Grady following his collapse

Her terrified actress mum Natasha has said someone could be keeping her daughter hostage and has urged the public to remain vigilant and search anywhere that could be used as a hiding place.

In a post to Facebook, Natasha said: “Backs of vans, in garages, somewhere she could be hidden, against her will. In a house……keep looking, be bold with respect.

“Thank you. Keep senses sharp,” she added. “HELP US BRING HER BACK! Cant bear it.”

Facebook / Natasha Pope
Gaia’s mum has appealed to the public for help (Credit: Facebook / Natasha Pope)

Gaia is described as white, 5ft 7in, of medium build, with long blonde hair.

She was last seen wearing a red checked skirt with white buttons, grey and white woven leggings, and white trainers.

Dorset Police
Gaia was last seen on CCTV at St Michael’s Garage on Valley Road, Swanage at around 3pm on November 7 (Credit: Dorset Police)

On the day of her disappearance, Gaia was captured on CCTV just before 3pm buying ice cream at St Michael’s Garage on Valley Road in Swanage.

She had been in a car with a family member who stopped off for fuel.

Around 40 minutes later, Gaia was seen again on CCTV running down Morrison Road in Swanage, two miles away.

Her family have said they have no idea why Gaia would be running, describing the footage as “frightening”.

Dorset Police
Gaia is described as a vulnerable teenager who requires epilepsy medication (Credit: Dorset Police)

The last person to have seen Gaia is believed to be Rosemary Dinch, 71, the grandmother of Gaia’s friend Nathan Elsey, 19.

Rosemary has claimed Gaia banged on the front door asking for help and described her as being in an agitated and distressed state.

Gaia reportedly complained of being too hot and took her top off, leaving her standing in just her bra.

Rosemary was apparently able to persuade Gaia to put her clothes back on, but the teenager then left the house without her coat, saying she needed to go and find a friend.

Facebook / FIND GAIA
Thousands are helping with the search (Credit: Facebook / FIND GAIA)

Nathan is an aspiring actor who recently had an extra role in the Hollywood epic Dunkirk.

The elderly woman’s ex-husband Greg Elsey has denied the suggestion either Rosemary or Nathan could be involved in Gaia’s disappearance.

Dorset Police have said search warrants are ongoing at two addresses in Swanage.

According to reports, police seized a car overnight in relation to the investigation but details have yet to be released.

Facebook / Natasha Pope
Gaia’s mum has thanked everyone for their help (Credit: Facebook / Natasha Pope)

Thousands of people have joined the search for Gaia, spreading the word through the FIND GAIA page on Facebook.

Her mum Natasha said yesterday: “Deepest gratitude and thanks. Desperation accumulative. Keep our heads and never give up.

“We all need Gaia back so she can follow through on her life plan. Her talents are cross the board. Society stands to gain massively by getting her back.”

Read more: Viewers in tears at Susanna Reid’s Becky Watts documentary 

She added: “Gaia is dynamic fun, exceptionally intelligent, compassionate and loving. GAIA is special indeed, so we best crack on discover the truth of things so we may bring her home very soon.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police quoting incident number 14:108, or Crimestoppers anonymously.

Related Topics