Investigation into disappearance of Gaia Pope - update

20 November 2017
Three people arrested in connection with the disappearance of Gaia Pope have this morning been released from police investigation without any further action.

At around 3pm on Saturday 18 November 2017, specialist search teams discovered the body of a woman near the coastal path and the field where items of her clothing had been located on Thursday 16 November near Swanage.

Although the body has yet to be formally identified, officers are confident that it is Gaia and her family is being supported by specially-trained officers. 

A post-mortem examination was carried out yesterday, Sunday 19 November 2017, and did not identify any injuries to suggest any other person was involved in her death. The cause of death is undetermined pending toxicology results.

Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Following the results of the post-mortem examination and other ongoing investigative enquiries, we have concluded that no one else was involved in Gaia’s death. 

“As such we have today, Monday 20 November, released from our investigation two men aged 19 and 49 and a 71-year-old woman, all from Swanage, who had been arrested and were assisting with our enquiries.

"I appreciate our enquiries would have caused these individuals stress and anxiety, however we have an obligation in any missing person investigation to explore every possible line of enquiry.

"The public would expect Dorset Police to fully investigate the sudden disappearance of a teenage girl. Our aim was not only to find Gaia but to find out what happened to her.

“Gaia’s family has been informed of this latest development and our thoughts remain with all her family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.” 

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