Hunt for girl, 14, who ‘ran away with her boyfriend’ and left ‘misleading’ note

News

A missing teenager left a note for her parents saying she had broken up with her partner “like you wanted” – but her distraught mum believes it’s just a way to throw them off track.

Olivia Smith, 14, disappeared in the night leaving her mum to discover a letter on Tuesday morning claiming she had broken up with her boyfriend and was heading to Halifax, West Yorkshire, to “sort myself out” for some time.

But mum Samantha Smith, whose family lives in Harwich, Essex, suspects it is to cover her tracks and that Olivia has fled with the boy, who is also believed to be missing.

She had been dating the 15-year-old for three months but Samantha, 41, said both she and Olivia’s dad had urged her to split up with the lad.

Olivia was last seen at 5.30am on Tuesday going to Manningtree train station.

She was by herself but her mum said she has been told her boyfriend was also heading there.

Samantha is now pleading her youngest child to “come home where it’s safe” as she is “devastated” that she is missing.

“[Olivia], come home where it’s safe and I know where you are. I don’t understand why you’ve gone. There’s no need to do this,” the heartbroken mum pleaded.

“You need to come home, be with your family and rebuild the relationships.

“I love her to pieces. Olivia’s my youngest. That’s why it’s so devastating.

“She’s only 14 – she’s the baby of the family.

“Three of [my children] have left home and I’ve only got her. They’ve all flown the nest now and I hadn’t prepared myself for her to go yet.”

The mum-of-four is currently unsure where in the country her youngest child could be but suspects she is in the Clacton area, despite the letter claiming she was heading to Halifax.

The 14-year-old, who is believed to have fled around 5am, left the note on her family’s dining room table which read: “I’m going to Halifax for a bit to sort myself out.

“I broke up with [boyfriend’s name] like you wanted. I don’t know when I’ll be back. I’m sorry. From Liv.”

Samantha said: “We believe Olivia’s wrote the note to throw us off the scent, [but] I did get told to share the information with family and friends up north.

“We do believe she’s with her boyfriend.

“We’ve had no communication from Olivia, apart from this letter, which she left downstairs on the dining room table.

“She’s no phone whatsoever and no money. It’s really concerning.”

Unemployed Samantha claims Olivia’s personality changed when she met her boyfriend last year.

The previously ‘bubbly’ and ‘outgoing’ teen began to hide away in her room more – but became ‘besotted’ with her new partner.

Samantha said: “She [normally] spends most of her time with me. She never even goes to the shop herself – I had to do it because she was anxious.

“She’s never done this before she met her boyfriend.

“Her personality changed when she met him [in October]. She would stay in her bedroom. I’d pop up every 10 minutes to see if she was okay and if she wanted a drink.

“I was constantly saying ‘do you want me to come and sit with you’ or ‘do you want to come downstairs with me?’

“Before then, she was quite bubbly and outgoing. She had plenty of friends.

“Me and her dad both said we don’t want her to go out with him.

“She’s absolutely besotted with him. She thinks he’s the love of her life.

“It’s tiring and exhausting to be constantly aware that your child’s gone missing.”

Since appealing online, Samantha’s post has been shared more than 63,000 times and she claims to have been inundated with potential sightings.

Samantha said: “I’ve had loads of messages. I’ve been inundated [with messages] from Yorkshire, but me and the police believe she’s still in Essex.

“She’d [allegedly] been seen in Bradford, Halifax. One woman called who lives in Argus and saw a young girl and boy together buying camping equipment – but the boy had dark hair and [her boyfriend] has blonde hair.”

A spokesperson from Essex Police said: “[We] can confirm we’re investigating – anyone who knows where Olivia is should call us on 101.”