Skegness aunt steps up nationwide search for missing London girl Tia Sharp

HEARTFELT pleas have been made to the public by a distraught aunt to help find her 12-year-old niece who has been missing since Friday.

Maxine Carter, of Skegness, has been out putting up flyers in the local area in a bid to help in the nation-wide search for London girl Tia Sharp, who was last seen leaving her grandmother’s house in The Lindens area of New Addington on Friday, August 3 around midday.

Tia was said to be heading to the Whitgift Centre in Croydon to go shopping and it is thought she only had a small amount of money on her, no mobile or travel cards.

The youngster lives in Pollards Hill, Merton and is described as white, with brunette hair, of a slim build, 4ft 5in height and was wearing FCUK branded glasses.

On the day Tia was said to wearing a yellow top with a yellow bandeau top over a white bra, which had visible cross straps. She had light grey leopard print/grey jean-like leggings, with black and pink high top trainers

Tia is from the Michem area but was visiting her grandmother and has not been missing before. She is known to go to the Croyden, Mitchem and Wimbledon areas.

A press conference with Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola of The Metropolitan Police, and David Sharp, 28, maternal uncle of Tia, took place on Monday, at New Scotland Yard. Also present were two close family friends, Mark Havers and Steven Sabine. David, Mark and Steven were all wearing white appeal tee shirts.

David Sharp appealed for Tia to return: “Tia please come home. You are not in trouble - please call us or call the police. I would like to thank the police and the public - everyone is doing everything they can. Please don’t stop.”

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola from Specialist Crime and Operations said: “We are releasing a CCTV image of Tia from Thursday, August 2 - the day before she was last seen. The image is from the Co-op store in Featherbed Lane, Addington, at around 4.15pm.

“We know Tia travelled there part way on a tram by herself, and then met her grandmother’s partner at East Croydon station. The image shows her wearing a yellow vest top with an image of an animal on the front - possibly of a cat or dog, her tight faded jeans, and Ugg boots.

“We believe she was wearing the top and jeans when she went missing - but not the Ugg boots - we know she was wearing black nike trainers with a pink tick when she left her grandmother’s address.

“We have had a good response to our appeals. We have had some 55 reported sightings of Tia, although none of these have been substantiated. Searches are continuing in the area around Tia’s grandmother’s address. CCTV is being collated and viewing continues.

“We know Tia was at her grandmother’s house and slept late on the morning of Friday, August 3. She then left to get the bus. She told her grandmother’s partner she was going out. He was the last person to see her, that we are aware of at this time.

“We have recovered a number of items but we now know that they do NOT belong to Tia.

David Sharp added: “Tia is a normal 12 year old girl. She has never run away before. She is playful but is clued up when it comes to travelling and knowing her local area.”

Anyone who has seen Tia or knows of her whereabouts should call Merton Police on 020 87214005 (quoting reference 12MIS025216); or Missing People on 116 000.