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December 28, 2002

Mother's Plea To Missing Daughter

From: Torquay Herald Express, UK - 28 Dec 2002


The mother of a 16-year-old Devon schoolgirl missing for six days has spoken of her fear that she may never return home.

It is thought that Rachel Hathaway ran away to be with her 23-year-old boyfriend, on December 22.

She has not been seen or heard from since.

Today her mother Kay Hathaway, from Cullompton, made an emotional appeal for information to trace her daughter.

"This is the first Christmas Rachel has not been here. Her Christmas presents are still here ready to be opened. I have been trying to keep her brother and sister occupied, and have kept the phone with me at all times, even taking it to bed. But she has made no contact whatsoever.

"I'm worried she might not ever come back. I'm terrified of what might happen to her. I just want her to contact me or the police, or anyone who knows where she is to do the same."

Mrs Hathaway said that her daughter had been in a relationship with the 23-year-old for about a year-and-a-half. She said she tried to stop it because she did not approve, but her daughter was besotted with him.

Rachel, who is tone-deaf and sometimes wears hearing aids, left her home with just £20.

She has a 13-year-old sister Emma and 16-year-old brother Stuart.

Mrs Hathaway said: "She's run away before, but has never been away for this amount of time. She is quite naive, and I am very worried. She could be anywhere."

Rachel is currently working towards her GCSEs at Cullompton Community College.

She is described as 5ft 1ins, slim, with long brown hair, brown eyes and a pale complexion.

When she went missing she was wearing a red fleece with a Stella Artois logo on it and black trousers.

Police have urged any possible sightings of Rachel to be reported on 08705 777444.

A police spokesman said: "We would appeal to Rachel to make contact with either the police or her family, and we would also ask anyone who may know where she is, to come forward."

© Northcliffe Electronic Publishing Ltd.