Am dram group's fear for Natasha

WORRIED members of an amateur dramatic group devastated by the disappearance of their former “little star” Natasha Coombs today appealed for her to make contact with her family.

WORRIED members of an amateur dramatic group devastated by the disappearance of their former “little star” Natasha Coombs today appealed for her to make contact with her family.

As relatives and police continued their desperate search for the 17-year-old, who was last seen 11 days ago after a night out in Ipswich, the Brantham Amateur Theatrical Society told of its fears for the teen.

Today Yvonne Amoss, the group's wardrobe mistress, said: “We're a tight-knit community and we're all feeling it.

“We've had the police helicopter overhead so you know what they're up to and your heart goes out over what they might find.”


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Mrs Amoss, of Brooklands Road, said the BATS group was consumed with worry about Natasha's disappearance.

The former East Bergholt High School pupil, from Fronks Road, Dovercourt, was a member of the group for several years when her family lived in Brantham.

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Among the performances she appeared in were productions of The Vackees, which the group performed in Stowmarket in 2000, and Snow White and The Eight Dwarves at Brantham village hall in 2001.

Mrs Amoss, 59, said: “Natasha came into the group when she was about seven, eight or nine.

“She was always a happy girl. She liked dressing up and was a happy, smiling face on stage.

“She loved it all. They were definitely happy times. She was a little star because she always wanted to perform.

“I've had people phone me since she went missing. Because all the girls that performed on the stage are of a similar age several of them have phoned me.”

Natasha, known as Tash to her family, boarded a train at Ipswich station at 10.42pm on July 27 but has not been seen since. Her mobile phone was switched off in the area of Manningtree station at 11.19pm after she called a friend to say she was off the train.

n.The Evening Star has launched a website for messages of support to Natasha's family and for direct appeals to Natasha. To post your message visit www.eveningstar.co.uk and click on the Come Back Natasha link.

POLICE today released pictures of a handbag and mobile phone similar to those carried by Natasha Coombs when she disappeared.

When the 17-year-old went missing she had with her a black Fiorelli dodo handbag and a top-of-the-range, bright pink Samsung phone and MP3 player.

It is known from CCTV that she was still carrying the bag when she was on the platform at Ipswich railway station.

Natasha's phone was active that evening but has not been used since that night.

Essex police want to hear from anyone who finds either of these items discarded. If they are found they should be left where they are and police should be contacted immediately.

Meanwhile, Natasha's grandparents have offered their life savings as a reward for information leading to her return.

Peter and Wendy Clackett, from old Harwich, attended a news conference at Clacton police station where they described the nightmare they have been living since the disappearance of their only grandchild.

Mr Clackett, 62, said: “There hasn't been any leads. She just disappeared into thin air. Now we are hoping police can come up with some answers.”

Mr Clackett last spoke to his granddaughter before she went out on the Friday night she went missing, as she wanted to thank him for the money he gave her for perfume for her holiday.

He added: “The reward I have put forward myself is a substantial amount for anyone that can get my granddaughter safely home. I would give anything to get her back. It is a living nightmare for us and the whole family is devastated.”

A spokeswoman for Essex police said officers were also eager to speak to a group of three men wearing suits seen at Manningtree station as well as a smartly dressed man carrying a brief case who at one point used the public toilets on the station.

A Bebo website called Find Natasha set up by friends of the teenager has received more than 2,100 visits.

If anyone has any information about her whereabouts, they should call Clacton police on 01255 221312.

11 days of torment

Natasha Coombs spent the evening of Friday, July 27 having dinner with two friends at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Ipswich's Cardinal Park.

She boarded a 10.42pm train at Ipswich en route to her home in Fronks Road, Dovercourt.

She called her parents, Gary and Joanne, to say she was on her way home and said she had ordered a taxi from Dovercourt railway station.

She is believed to have got off the train at Manningtree to catch the connection to Dovercourt but she was not picked up on CCTV because cameras at the station were not working.

Her mobile phone was switched off in the area of Manningtree station at 11.19pm after she called a friend and said she had got off the train.

Searches of the area have failed to uncover any trace of the 17-year-old.

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