A teenager and a pensioner have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 19-year-old girl who vanished a week ago.
Gaia Pope, 19, was spotted on CCTV sprinting along Manor Gardens in Swanage and seen banging on a door in the street at around 4pm on November 7.
Gaia was epileptic and feared she had suffered a seizure she was also badly affected by a traumatic incident two years ago, her family has said.
Two days before her disappearance she posted a desperate message on Instagram suggesting she feared for her safety.
She said that police may have been monitoring her phone and she feared being ‘shut up and put in a cell’.
The social media message was tagged with the hashtag #sexualassault and followers later commented on the post urging her to ‘run somewhere safe’.
Gaia Pope, 19, from Langton Matravers in Dorset has not been seen for almost a week and a teenager and a pensioner have been arrested on suspicion of her murder
This is the last sighting of Gaia Pope shown running up Manor Gardens in Swanage at 4pm on November 7
Two days before her disappearance she posted a desperate message on Instagram suggesting she feared for her safety and used the hashtag #sexualassault
Police, the coastguard and hundreds of members of the public have been searching for Gaia on cliffs, woods, nature reserves and beaches after her disappearance.
Detectives were also investigating whether she had fled the area but have now concluded she has been killed, although they have not found her body.
Detectives were also investigating whether she had fled the area but have now concluded Gaia has been killed, although they have not found her body
Last night Dorset Police said a 19-year-old man and a 71-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of murdering her and confirmed the suspects in custody knew Gaia.
Search warrants have been secured for two addresses in Swanage and forensic officers are carrying out fingertip searches of them for clues.
Senior Investigating Officer Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: ‘It has been almost a week since Gaia’s last confirmed sighting and she has not been seen or heard from since.
‘We have looked through CCTV that covers the Swanage area, including transport hubs, and there is nothing to suggest she has left the area.
‘Her disappearance is completely out of character and, following our extensive enquiries, we sadly now believe that she may have come to harm.
‘We have not yet found Gaia and our searches will continue. I would appeal to anyone who has information about her disappearance to please contact Dorset Police.
‘Our specially-trained officers have updated Gaia’s family and are supporting them at this very difficult time.’
Gaia (left with Russell Brand and right on social media) was epileptic and feared she had suffered a seizure she was also badly affected by a traumatic incident two years ago, her family has said
Ms Pope was last seen at a house near Swanage, on Dorset’s Jurassic coast (stock photograph)
The last reported sighting of Gaia was at an address in Manor Gardens on Morrison Road of Swanage.
She was said to be wearing a red checked shirt with white buttons, grey and white woven leggings and white trainers.
Gaia is 5ft 7ins tall, medium build and has long mousey blonde hair.
Hundreds of people from the town also joined the search, with an appeal shared widely on social media in attempts to find Gaia.
Comedian Russell Brand, who has more than 12 million followers on Twitter, re-tweeted a poster with information about the appeal.
Speaking about the disappearance, Gaia’s sister Marienna Pope, described the situation as a ‘waking nightmare.’
Her mother Natasha said on Facebook: ‘Full scale alert ; my daughter Gaia Pope-Sutherland is missing. Vulnerable. Helicopter out, full scale search they say. Do your best for us people??Find her!!!Knock on doors’.