Residents living near cycle path asked to look out for Charlotte

Police on the Isle of Wight are appealing to residents in the Blackwater, Merstone and Arreton areas to check gardens, outbuildings, sheds and behind any bins, as they continue their search for missing 44-year-old Charlotte Birch.

Charlotte hasn’t been seen since Wednesday afternoon when she left St Mary’s Hospital in Newport. Family and friends raised concerns that night as she had left her mobile behind, as well as medication for her severe epilepsy.

Hampshire Constabulary launched a formal appeal for information as to Charlotte’s whereabouts yesterday morning (Thursday). Since then, WightSAR volunteers have been searching the Newport, Blackwater and Rookley areas and the police have called upon aerial support to sweep the area.

Last night, it was reported that Charlotte may have been seen in Rookley between 19:15 and 20:15 on Wednesday night.

The search continues this morning with a fresh team of volunteers from WightSAR – the Island’s volunteer search and rescue organisation – out on the ground.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary has said:

“As we mentioned yesterday, we had a sighting on the cycle path between Newport and Sandown, which is used a lot by cyclists and dog walkers.

“We are searching this area again today, but we are keen for people who live along this long stretch, at Blackwater, Merstone and Arreton, to check any sheds or outbuildings that you might have.
“This is a large area to search, and while we are out with our colleagues from Wight SAR your help will be invaluable, carefully searching any buildings you have, behind bins, under vehicles and in gardens.

“It has been particularly cold over the past two days, so she may have sought shelter.”

Charlotte is described as being white, 5ft 6ins tall, of a slim build with shoulder length brown hair. She wears glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police on 101, quoting 44190010676. In an emergency, dial 999.