Family distress over missing Scots 11-year-old as community organise search party
Police are appealing for the public to help trace young Kaitlyn Easson as a huge search mission was launched.
UPDATE: Missing Galashiels girl Kaitlyn Easson traced safe and well
Kaitlyn lives in the Langlee area of Galashiels and was seen in the Gala Park area.
The family of the schoolgirl who vanished from a friend’s home are among those who are urgently searching for her.
They have been searching in the town through the night and there are significant concerns for her welfare while her phone is off.
A public search party has been set up by wellwishers from 6pm on Monday gathering at the Borders College to try and find her. Local football team Langlee Amateurs have cancelled their training tonight to join them.
It is understood that snacks, bottled water were available from the customer service desk in the local Tesco for volunteers.
Volunteers, mountain rescue, and Borders water rescue team are now all helping police look for her.
It is believed they are concentrating on areas between the town centre and her home in Langlee, including woods along the River Tweed. Divers are also said to have been spotted in the Gala Water at Netherdale.
Local police commander, Chief Superintendent Catriona Paton, said 24 hours had passed since the last confirmed sighting and that the force were growing “increasingly concerned” about Kaitlyn’s well-being.
“Her family are experiencing the most distressing of times, longing for us to trace Kaitlyn safe and well,” she said.
“In essence, I am just urging anyone with any information to get in touch.
“As time passes with no contact from Kaitlyn, we are very concerned for her well-being and I am appealing to anyone who has seen her or knows where she might be to call police immediately.
“We do not have any information at this time to suggest she has come to any harm but it is important that we find her as soon as possible.
“We are continuing to search the area where she was last seen as well as other parts of Galashiels where she could be.
“Partner agencies, including the local mountain rescue team, are assisting us with these searches.
“There has been a real strength of feeling from the local community and we are grateful for their support. I would ask them to contact us as soon as possible if they have any information that could assist us.
“We’ve been so grateful for the support we’ve had from the community and actually from partner agencies to support some of that searching.
“We will continue searching; we will continue investigating until we have done everything that we can to trace Kaitlyn safe and well, and return her to her family.”
Family friend Nicola Forrest issued a plea for people to help search for Kaitlyn.
She said Kaitlyn’s mother and family are “worried sick”.
Ms Forrest said the girl left her friend’s home at 5:30pm on Sunday and that the last confirmed sighting they have of her is on CCTV at the town’s Starbucks coffee shop.
“She hasn’t got on a train, her phone is off, location off on Snapchat, police and family out looking,” she said.
“They are searching the Boleside area of Galashiels at the moment and the helicopter is out too.
“Her mum can’t physically speak just now as she’s so upset and stressed. We have no idea where she could be, it is totally out of character for Kaitlyn. We are just trying to stay positive.”
Earlier on Monday, she said on social media that no organised search party had been planned because “the police don’t want us to hinder their findings”.
She added: “But please everyone and anyone who’s out and about, search, I’ve walked five miles already and going back out. ”
It understood Kaitlyn was last seen on CCTV at a Starbucks in the town at 6.15pm.
The 11-year-old is described as 4ft 11in, of slim build, with long blonde hair, and was wearing a white jumper, brown trousers and clumpy boots.
In a new update Police Scotland say Kaitlyn Easson was last seen around 5.45pm at the Interchange in the centre of the town.
They say there was a possible further sighting of her walking alone on Melrose Road ten minutes later near to a local sports facility called the Queens Centre, in the direction of her home address.
There have been no other confirmed sightings of her since.
Police have set up a public portal where people can send private CCTV or dash-cam to assist with their efforts to trace Kaitlyn.
Chief Supt Paton added: “Whilst we have a number of specialist resources, working tirelessly to help find Kaitlyn I am asking members of the public to support as with any information that they have to come forward and to get in touch with my officers.
“They can do that in a number of ways. Whether that’s contacting an officer who is in the community by going to Old Gala House where we have officers set up to help co-ordinate the search by contacting 101 or by contacting our public portal, which will be online shortly so that members of the public can provide information and importantly can download any footage that they might have, whether that’s from dash cams, or Ring doorbells.
Earlier inspector Robbie Noble said: “This is very out of character for Kaitlyn and we are growing increasingly concerned for her.
“Our enquiries are ongoing to trace her and I am appealing for anyone who has seen Kaitlyn or who has any information on her whereabouts to contact us.
“We would also appeal to Kaitlyn herself to get in touch to let us know she is safe.”
Anyone who may have seen Kaitlyn, or who has any information on her whereabouts, is urged to contact Police Scotland via 101 quoting incident number 3314.