Parents of missing girl, 14, fear she has fled with her boyfriend

Parents of missing girl, 14, fear she has fled with her boyfriend and is trying to ‘throw them off the scent’ after leaving handwritten note insisting they had split up ‘like they wanted’

  • Olivia Smith, 14, disappeared from her home in Harwich, Essex early on Tuesday
  • She left a note on the dining table claiming she was headed to Halifax, Yorkshire
  • Mother believes she is with her boyfriend, 15, and wrote note to distract search 

The mother of a missing teenager fears she has fled with her boyfriend and is trying to ‘throw her off the scent’ by leaving a note insisting they have split up.

Olivia Smith, 14, disappeared on Tuesday with a handwritten letter left behind claiming she was heading from Harwich, Essex to Halifax in West Yorkshire.

The letter told her mother she had broken up with her boyfriend ‘like she wanted’, but Samantha Smith suspects her daughter has actually fled with Conrad Marlborough, 15.  

The teenager has been dating Conrad for three months but Ms Smith, 41, said both she and the girl’s father had urged her to end the relationship.

Her mother is now pleading with her daughter, also known as Olivia Slater, to ‘come home where it’s safe’. 

Olivia Smith, 14, disappeared on Tuesday with a handwritten letter left behind claiming she was heading from Harwich, Essex to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Pictured: Olivia with her mother Samantha Smith

The letter told her mother she had broken up with her boyfriend ‘like she wanted’, but Samantha Smith suspects her daughter has actually fled with the boy. Pictured: The note

She said: ‘[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.

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

Ms Smith explained Olivia is the youngest of her four children, three of whom have ‘flown the nest.’ ‘I hadn’t prepared myself for her to go yet,’ she added.

The mother-of-four is unsure where her daughter is but suspects she could be in the Clacton area, despite the letter saying she was headed to Halifax.

The teenager left the note on the family dining table when she fled the home at around 5am. It read: ‘I’m going to Halifax for a bit to sort myself out.

‘I broke up with Conrad like you wanted. I don’t know when I’ll be back. I’m sorry. From Liv.’ 

Ms Smith explained Olivia is the youngest of her four children, three of whom have ‘flown the nest.’ ‘I hadn’t prepared myself for her to go yet,’ she added

Ms Smith said she believes Olivia left the note to ‘throw us off the scent’ of where she went.

‘Olivia was spotted at 5.30am yesterday morning going to Manningtree train station in Essex. She was by herself,’ she said.  

‘I did get told Conrad was going to Manningtree station as well, so he possibly met her there.

‘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.

Pictured: Olivia, who is described as about 5ft tall with a slim build

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

Olivia’s father Michael Slater told the Clacton Gazette he has struggled to sleep since her disappearance on Tuesday. 

He said: ‘I am feeling distraught and I would just like her to come to mine and I love her – I just want my daughter home.’

Ms Smith said Olivia’s personality shifted when she met her boyfriend last year, changing from ‘bubbly’ and ‘outgoing’ to someone who hid away in her room.

‘Her personality changed when she met him,’ she added. ‘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. 

‘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.’

After posting an appeal for information online, Ms Smith said she has been inundated with reports of potential sightings.

She 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.’ 

Essex Police ask anyone with information about Olivia’s whereabouts to contact them on 101.  

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