Friends' emotional plea to Natasha

AS the frantic search for Natasha Coombs continues today, schoolfriends of the missing teenager have made emotional pleas for information on her whereabouts.

AS the frantic search for Natasha Coombs continues today, schoolfriends of the missing teenager have made emotional pleas for information on her whereabouts.

Sick with worry and fearing for her safety, the girls - who all live in East Bergholt - issued a simple heartfelt message to their friend: please come home.

The 17-year-old former pupil of East Bergholt High School who lives in Dovercourt, was last seen on Friday July 27 after getting on a train at Ipswich after enjoying an evening out with friends.

She called her parents to say she was getting the 10.40pm train but never arrived home.


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Today 17-year-old Jess Ryan held back the tears as she told of her disbelief on realising her childhood friend was missing.

She said: “I was shocked because you see it on the news but you never think it is going to be someone you know.

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“Just seeing the posters around the village is really strange.

“I wouldn't want to imagine what her parents are going through.

“They are a really nice family and don't deserve this.

“I would just say to Natasha come home because you don't realise how many friends are worried about you.”

Ms Ryan said Natasha was a hugely popular figure at school and is known for her fashion sense and friendly, easy-going nature.

The Evening Star has now set up a website called Come back Natasha for people to post messages of support for Natasha's friends and family.

Chloe Merrigan and Hannah Barwick, both 16, said that Natasha was somebody they had looked up to at school.

The pair said: “Just come home or let somebody know you are safe.”

Today Natasha's desperate parents appeared on GMTV. When asked if Natasha could have run away, her mother Joanne said: "I am her mum and also her best friend. Natasha told me everything.

“If she did have any relationship problems I would have been aware. I always said to Natasha, any problems she had I would help her sort them. She knew that.

"Which makes it even more difficult to comprehend why she would consider not coming home."

Detectives have become increasingly concerned about Natasha's mysterious disappearance and have been searching woodland close to Manningtree station - the area which her mobile phone signal was last picked up.

Today they will continue to search in Manningtree but also in Harwich.

Yesterday police released CCTV showing Natasha standing at Ipswich railway station just prior to her catching the 10.42pm train towards Manningtree.

Prior to getting on the train Natasha and friends had eaten at the Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant in Cardinal Park.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Clacton police station on 01255 221312.

n. Post your messages of support to Natasha and her family at www.eveningstar.co.uk/natasha, write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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