Missing Alice Gross's rucksack found by River Brent
- 4 September 2014
- From the section London
A rucksack belonging to a 14-year-old girl who has been missing for a week has been found beside the River Brent in west London.
Alice Gross of Hanwell, west London, was last seen by her family at about 13:00 BST on 28 August.
Her mother told the BBC Alice had recently been diagnosed with anorexia.
CCTV footage shows her walking along the Grand Union Canal tow path near the Holiday Inn at Brentford Lock between 13:30 BST and 17:30 BST.
'Going through a tough time'
Speaking on BBC London 94.9, Alice's mother Rosalind Hodgkiss said: "Alice had been diagnosed with anorexia and was going through a tough time in a number of ways and we are wondering whether her disappearance had anything to do with that, but we don't know.
"That is the main reason why we have had such concerns for her well being and her health in particular."
The teenager had told her family she was going to meet up with friends but went for a walk alone on the riverside tow path, CCTV footage showed.
"We are desperate to know that she is safe and we really want her to know that we want her home, and we are desperate for her to know how loved she is," the mother added.
The Met Police's homicide team has "taken the lead" on the case.
The purple rucksack, which contained items that have been identified by Alice's family, was found alongside the towpath on Tuesday, police said.
CCTV footage of the towpath shows the Brentside High School student wearing a rucksack-style bag while walking in the River Brent area.
She was heading in the direction of the Kew at about 14:23 BST and more than an hour later was seen on the same tow path, walking alone, heading in the direction of Hanwell.
The Met Police said it was "not unusual" for the homicide team to be involved, although it remains a missing person inquiry.
Det Ch Insp Andy Chalmers said: "A week on since Alice was last seen by her family we are becoming increasingly worried about her welfare and safety as each day passes.
"Her disappearance is out of character and this investigation continues to be a priority for us.
"Our investigation has reached a point where we now know Alice was heading along the Grand Union Canal tow path in the direction of Hanwell and one would assume she was heading home."
Divers have also been seen in the River Brent near to where the teenager went missing.
Police have appealed for anyone who saw Alice on the towpath or befriended her while she was on a song-writing workshop at the Camden Roundhouse to contact them.
The teenager has been described as being 5ft 2in tall, slim, with shoulder-length light brown hair.
When she was last seen by her family, she was wearing dark blue jeans, a dark green lacy cardigan and denim Van's shoes. She may also be wearing tartan-framed spectacles.