“Every morning brings new agony” – four weeks after the disappearance of teenager Alice Gross, her family release new video and images in the hope of locating her.
Alice, 14, was last seen walking along a canal towpath in Hanwell, west London, on 28 August, but there have been no further sightings of her since that day.
We cannot believe that Alice is not at home with us and every morning brings new agony. Gross family statement
On Thursday night, Scotland Yard said they had identified a section of Elthorne Park in west London as an “area of interest” that was “currently being assessed”.
Police have said the search for Alice is the biggest operation since the 7/7 London bombings, and are also searching for Latvian Arnis Zalkalns. Mr Zalkalns, who has a murder conviction, was seen in the area Alice was on 28 August.
On Thursday, the Gross family released a statement saying they are “desperately concerned” about her welfare.
The statement said: “Alice has been missing for four weeks now. We are desperately concerned about her welfare and worry constantly about what may have happened to her.
“We are appealing to Alice. If you are out there, to come home where you belong. We love you and we miss you. We want to see your smile again, we want to hear you sing again, to see you cuddle Peggy, or sit at the piano. We want to be a family again.
“The whole family, all your friends, the community and the police are united in trying to bring you home.
“We are also appealing to anyone out there who knows anything about Alice’s disappearance or where she is to come forward now.
“We cannot believe that Alice is not at home with us and every morning brings new agony. We dearly love our daughter and Nina dearly loves her sister.
“Please, please help us.”
The family also released a video to Youtube from June 2013 of Alice rehearsing a solo for a concert (below), and a number of new images.
Detective Superintendent Carl Mehta, said: “The public’s support has been amazing, both from the local community and all the hundreds of people who have called in to give us information.
“We still need your help to find Alice and bring her home to her family.
“Today my appeal is simple. Alice was last seen on CCTV walking along the canal towpath, heading under Trumpers Way bridge towards Hanwell. Since 16.26pm on that Thursday 28 August she has not been seen. Did you see Alice that afternoon? Have you seen her since? We need your help to find her.
“Just as Alice reached the bridge it started to rain heavily. Think back and try to remember if you were out and about in that area that afternoon. It was during the summer holidays and the canal is a really popular place locally.
“We know that Alice loved the rain, so she probably would have kept walking in it rather than seek shelter. There are many paths and turn offs from that canal towpath. We don’t know the route that Alice took, so please think back to that Thursday four weeks ago and call us if you can help.”
Alice is white, 5ft 2 ins tall and of very slim build with shoulder-length, light brown hair. When she left home that day she was wearing dark blue jeans and a dark t-shirt, and tartan framed glasses. She was carrying a dark rucksack, and wearing denim blue ‘Vans’ shoes, these shoes were in her rucksack when it was found by police on 2 September.