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Body found and search suspended after Layla Blake went missing from Southminster on Friday

A BODY has been found during the search for a missing teenage girl who was last seen five days ago.

Layla Jean Blake, 17, was last seen on Friday and reported missing the following day, with relatives saying it was "out of character."

They posted appeals on social media to find the 17-year-old from Southminster, who was studying Public Services at Chelmsford College.

Jessica Blake posted on Monday evening on Facebook: "Our beautiful sister Layla Blake is still missing - 72 hours with no contact with any friends or family.

"Layla was last seen on Thursday at around 4pm in Southminster and we are all concerned.

"We do not feel that Layla would have left by choice and this is completely out of character for her."

Her brother Chris Blake also posted: "My little sister Layla still hasn't been found its been nearly 36 hours without contact to anyone.

"Please could you share this post as much as possible to give us the best chance at finding her, we really appreciate all the help so far. Let get her home!"

He later updated: "Please keep getting this out there we're at a stand still with no leads coming in and very few updates from Essex Police - Maldon District. I'm sure they're working hard but we're all worried sick it's been this long."

Essex Police did not appear to run any public appeals for Layla before the body was found.

However, today, Tuesday, February 13, another relative posted: "Our beautiful Layla was found in the early hours of Monday morning and is no longer with us.

"We as a family, all of her friends, and everyone that knew our Layla will be devastated.

"Please respect and give all our family and friends time to process this and please all support one another."

The body has yet to be formerly identified and no details have been released of where she was found or any cause of death.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We were contacted at about 3.35am on Saturday February 10 with reports a 17-year-old girl, Layla Jean Blake was missing from an address in Southminster, and a missing persons investigation was launched.

On Monday February 12, a body was discovered and the search for Layla was suspended.

"Formal identification has yet to take place, but Layla’s family have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers."


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