Police confirm missing Gorleston student Sophie Smith left a note outlining her intentions

Missing Sophie Smith, who has not been seen since she left her Gorleston home in the early hours of

Missing Sophie Smith, who has not been seen since she left her Gorleston home in the early hours of Boxing Day morning. Pictures: @SARAH_JANEE_XO/NORFOLK POLICE - Credit: Archant

Police searching for a missing 21-year-old student from Gorleston have confirmed she left a note to her family outlining her intentions.

UEA student Sophie Smith has been missing since Boxing Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

UEA student Sophie Smith has been missing since Boxing Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Sophie Smith, who was reported missing on Boxing Day, had been suffering from severe anxiety and depression, which she had openly discussed with her close family and friends who were supporting her.

She had also been receiving treatment for her mental health.

Inspector Will Drummond said: “We know from speaking to her family that Sophie had previously spoken about her intention to enter the sea to take her own life. Sadly, we can also confirm that Sophie had left a note and messages for loved ones, outlining her intentions.”

Police launched a search after she was reported missing, which included air and coast searches along the Suffolk coastline in Southwold and Lowestoft, as well as searches by lowland rescue teams.

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith on Winterton beach last week.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith on Winterton beach last week. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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She was last seen on a CCTV image from 3am on Boxing Day running in the direction of the beach.

Sophie’s mother, Lynn Shaw, said: “Sophie’s step-father Kevin and I would like to thank the public and police for their continued support and dedication in searching for Sophie.

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“In our hearts we hold every hope she will return safe and well. However, as a family, knowing the troubles she was experiencing, we do fear the worst for our little girl.

“Sophie had openly discussed how she was struggling and was receiving treatment. I would urge anyone suffering anxiety or depression not to fight that battle alone and seek help.”

Searches for missing girl Sophie Smith were assisted by the public in Gorleston.
Picture: ANTONY KE

Searches for missing girl Sophie Smith were assisted by the public in Gorleston. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Police earlier in the week said the University of East Anglia student was likely to have gone into the sea at Gorleston.

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