Police believe a 15-year-old girl who disappeared from Bristol more than a fortnight ago after saying she was going to the shops has been kidnapped.
Maddie Thomas went missing on April 26 from the Southmead area, north of the city centre, where she lives with a foster family.
Avon and Somerset Police are increasingly concerned about the girl and officers now say they believe she was abducted by a man.
DI Laura Miller said: “We are no longer investigating Maddie’s disappearance as a missing persons case, but as a child abduction.”
Maddie has gone missing before and has even been found in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bedfordshire, mostly after being approached by men over the internet.
Miller said: “When Maddie went missing before, she was found in the company of grown men and it’s mainly because of this history that we think she’s probably with someone right now.
“Maddie is a child in foster care – no one is allowed to keep her away from her carers. She is vulnerable and at risk of being abused. We are very concerned for her safety and have a dedicated team working very hard to locate her.
“We have a number of lines of research and while we’ve received a lot of help from the public thus far for which we are incredibly grateful, we still need more.”
Officers viewed CCTV footage in Southmead and made door-to-door visits. “But Maddie could be anywhere in the country, so we need to share and report on our call as widely as possible,” Miller said.
“We are asking anyone who sees Maddie to call 999 immediately and anyone who speaks to her or sees her online to call 101. Maddie – if you see this please contact us to let us know you are safe. Everyone’s worried about you.”