Expert officers lead search for Natasha

ESSEX police today revealed it has amassed a team of 20 detectives and a further team of specialist officers to conduct the search for missing teenager Natasha Coombs.

ESSEX police today revealed it has amassed a team of 20 detectives and a further team of specialist officers to conduct the search for missing teenager Natasha Coombs.

Natasha, 17, of Dovercourt, has not been seen since boarding a train at Ipswich bound for Manningtree after a night out with friends on Friday, July 27.

Police today said the efforts to find her have involved putting together the team of 20 detectives and 15 to 20 specialists including divers, search teams and marine teams.

The divers and marine specialists were involved in carrying out searches of areas of water around Manningtree.


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Searches of land around Manningtree station have also been carried out but no trace of Natasha has been found.

Her mobile phone signal dropped off the network in the area at 11.19pm after she boarded a train at Ipswich station at 10.42pm.

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CCTV footage has been released showing her waiting at Ipswich station but cameras at Manningtree were not working so police can not be sure whether she disembarked there or not, however it is known that she called a friend to say that she had done.

Messages begging the 17-year-old former East Bergholt High School pupil to make contact with her family have been posted on a special site set up by The Evening Star at www.eveningstar.co.uk/Natasha.

One message, posted by Tasha Johnson, of Capel St Mary, said: “You are forever in my thoughts. Return soon, as I am looking forward to your 18th b-day party. Miss you very much.”

Yesterday Natasha's parents Gary and Joanne told of their pain over their daughter's disappearance.

In a message of support to them, Angela, from Lawford, wrote: “Keep strong Gary and Joanne, you're in my prayers as well as Tash.”

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.

12 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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