PO­LICE QUIZ 2 OVER MISS­ING GAIA, 19

Daily Express - - FRONT PAGE - By John Twomey

AN as­pir­ing ac­tor was ques­tioned yes­ter­day over the sus­pected mur­der of a miss­ing teenage girl.

Nathan Elsey, 19, was ar­rested along with his grand­mother Rose­mary Dinch, 71, six days af­ter Gaia Pope dis­ap­peared.

Gaia, 19, is still miss­ing but de­tec­tives fear “she may have come to harm”.

The stu­dent, who suf­fers from epilepsy, was said to be a reg­u­lar visi­tor to Mr Elsey’s flat and re­port­edly knew both rel­a­tives well.

Gaia, from Lang­ton Ma­travers, Dorset, was stay­ing in nearby Swan­age when she went miss­ing on Novem­ber 7. Both Mr Elsey, who ap­peared as an ex­tra in smash hit film Dunkirk, and Mrs Dinch live in the town in neigh­bour­ing flats.

Both were re­leased af­ter ques­tion­ing yes­ter­day, but are still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

An hour be­fore her ar­rest, she told re­porters Gaia knocked on her door in dis­tress on the day she went miss­ing.

She said: “There was a sort of ‘help me’ bang – pound­ing. She didn’t have a seizure, I am quite sure. I am just so pleased be­cause I gave her a cud­dle and she re­sponded. I have no idea where she is. She just seems to have dis­ap­peared.”

Gaia, whose ac­tress mother Natasha has ap­peared in In­spec­tor Morse and The Bill, was last seen run­ning close to the pen­sioner’s home in the sea­side town.

CCTV footage showed her look­ing dis­tressed and con­fused.

Gaia’s fam­ily yes­ter­day vowed to find their “dar­ling girl”. In a state­ment, they said: “We all love you for­ever. We miss you be­yond words. We will find you.

“The thought of see­ing the sun­shine of your smile again soon keeps us all go­ing and hop­ing.” They added: “If

any­one knows where Gaia is, we beg you to let us know.”

De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Paul Kes­sell said: “We re­main hope­ful that we’ll find her alive and that a mem­ber of the pub­lic will give us in­for­ma­tion which will help us to lo­cate Gaia safe and well.

“Any in­for­ma­tion, no mat­ter how small, could be very im­por­tant as we look to lo­cate her. We have a duty to ex­plore ev­ery pos­si­ble line of in­quiry.”

Mr Elsey stud­ied drama at Brock­en­hurst Col­lege, Hamp­shire, and lives with his mother Deb­bie.

Ac­cord­ing to a neigh­bour, he and Gaia were good friends.

Po­lice stood guard out­side both flats yes­ter­day.

Foren­sic of­fi­cers were seen go­ing in and out and, at one stage, two snif­fer dogs were taken in­side Mrs Dinch’s flat.

Gaia, who has a twin sis­ter, lives with her mother about a mile-and-ahalf from the scene of the po­lice searches yes­ter­day.

The teenager, who is study­ing health and so­cial care, had re­cently been stay­ing with a rel­a­tive in Swan­age.

When she was last seen, she was said to be wear­ing a red checked shirt with white but­tons, grey and white leg­gings and white train­ers.

Foren­sic of­fi­cers at flat yes­ter­day

Stu­dent Gaia Pope, 19, is still miss­ing

Ac­tor Nathan Elsey, 19

Rose­mary Dinch, 71

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