Teenager 'trying to walk 280-miles' seen on CCTV on day he disappeared

Missing teenager, 16, whose girlfriend believes may have been trying to walk 280-miles to see her is seen on CCTV on the day he disappeared

  • Owen Harding, 16, went missing from his home near Brighton last Thursday 
  • His girlfriend Meg Rhodes believes he was trying to make his way to vist her  
  • Rhodes, who is also 16, lives in Pocklington, East Yorkshire – 280-miles away  

CCTV images of a teenager who police believe may be trying to walk 280 miles to visit his girlfriend amid the coronavirus lockdown have been been released.

Owen Harding, 16, went missing from his family home in Saltdean near Brighton, East Sussex, more than a week ago on Thursday, March 26.

His distraught long-distance girlfriend of two years Meg Rhodes, also 16, thinks he may be trying to make his way to her house in Pocklington, near York, East Yorks.

CCTV images of Owen Harding have emerged from the day he went missing last week

Harding went missing from his family home in Saltdean near Brighton, East Sussex

Owen, pictured left, has been missing from Sussex since last Thursday, and girlfriend Meg Rhodes, pictured right, believes he could be walking 280 miles to her home in Pocklington, near York to see her

Meg said due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Owen hasn’t been able to take the train to see her as he usually would.

Officers believe Owen’s phone had been switched off soon after he went missing.

Pictures published by Sussex Police on Friday show the teen walking away from his home on the day he disappeared.

He looks to be wearing only a jumper and doesn’t appear to have any luggage with him.

Speaking earlier this week Meg said Owen had taken the travel restrictions imposed by Covid-19 ‘quite hard’.

Meg, 16, believes her missing boyfriend could be walking hundreds of miles to see her amid the Covid-19 lockdown (he would have had to travel from Saltdean, East Sussex to Pocklington, Yorkshire)

She added: ‘Living in different cities, it was going to be tough for us to see each other for a while and he wasn’t going to be able to take a train to see me.’

Owen’s worried mum Stella said his disappearance was ‘out of character’ and fears he may have come to harm.

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry said: ‘It’s now been a week since Owen’s disappearance and we share the concern of his family and friends for his safety and welfare.

‘Searches have been taking place in the Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs area and there have been extensive enquiries locally.

‘We are aware of his connection to Yorkshire and suggestions that he may have set out to walk there to see his girlfriend.

Owen, pictured left, is believed to have taken the travel restrictions imposed by Covid-19 ‘quite hard’ and his mother Stella, pictured right, has said his disappearance is out of character

‘We have not discounted this, but there are no indications at all to support this or indeed that he has left Sussex.

‘We would like to thank the public for their support in our investigation and while we appreciate people would like to help with our searches, we are urging everyone to abide by Government guidance at all times.’

Investigators are appealing for anyone with dascham or CCTV footage along the A259 between Newhaven and Brighton to get in touch.

Owen is white, 5′ 11′, of athletic build, with short brown hair. He normally wears white trainers and a dark hoodie, but is thought to have been wearing dark joggers.

People with information should report it online or call 101 quoting Operation Chartwell.

Anyone who sees Owen should dial 999 immediately.


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