Tia Sharp: Uncle makes plea for missing Croydon girl

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Tia Sharp
Image caption,
Tia Sharp went missing after visiting her grandmother in New Addington

The uncle of a 12-year-old girl who went missing after visiting her grandmother in south London has made an appeal for her return.

Tia Sharp left the New Addington house on Friday to go to the Whitgift shopping centre, Croydon, but has not been seen since.

David Sharp said his niece had "no reason to run away".

Scotland Yard said CCTV footage had been reviewed but no trace of Tia has been found.

The force also said it had received 55 reported sightings of the youngster, but none has been confirmed.

Speaking to his niece at a press conference, Mr Sharp made a direct plea to Tia.

'Very clued up'

"I just want you to come home," he said.

"Come home... you are not in any kind of trouble".

He explained Tia was just a "normal girl".

"She has never run away, she has got no reason to run away," he continued.

Image caption,
Det Ch Insp Nick Scola released a CCTV image of Tia

"She is a playful child, she is not adult in any way, but she's very clued up in travelling and local areas and people she knows".

Appeals for information have come from other members of Tia's family, and from celebrities such as former So Solid Crew member Lisa Maffia.

Her aunt Jasmine Hart tweeted on Saturday: "Hey guys I really need your help! My 12-year-old niece called Tia Sharp has been missing for over 24 hours."

Speaking at the press conference, Det Ch Insp Nick Scola said the last person to see Tia was her grandmother Christine Sharp's partner at her home.

He said Tia spent a lot of time at Ms Sharp's house.

'No mobile phone'

He held up a CCTV image of Tia taken at a Co-op store in New Addington at about 16:15 BST the day before she went missing, when she wearing similar clothes to when she was last seen.

Tia is described as 4ft 5in tall, slim, and was wearing FCUK glasses.

In the picture, she is wearing a yellow bandeau top over a white bra with visible cross straps, light grey leopard print leggings and black and pink Nike high-top trainers.

Officers are keen to speak to anyone in The Lindens area of New Addington who have information and for any bus or tram drivers in the Croydon area who may recognise her to contact them.

"At this stage, it's a relatively simple timeline as we know," he said.

"She was at her grandmother's address, she slept late and then she left to get the bus.

"We've had one neighbour who's reported possibly seeing her walking to the bus stop but as yet that is uncorroborated."

He said Tia did not have her young person's travelcard with her but some bus and tram drivers let children travel without one.

Police believe Tia had a small amount of cash with her, but she did not have her mobile phone and police have no information as to when her phone was last used.

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