Maddie Thomas, 15, has been missing since April 26 after telling a relative she was going shopping
A Bristol teenage girl who has been missing since April has been kidnapped, police say.
Maddison Thomas, known as Maddie, has not been seen for 15 days since she left her foster parents’ home in the borough of Southmead to go shopping on April 26.
Avon and Somerset Police have now said they are no longer investigating her disappearance as a missing person case but as a child abduction, with officers believing she is likely with a man.
What did the police say?
Detective Inspector Laura Miller said police are treating the case as a child kidnapping because Maddie “was previously missing and was found in the company of adult men”.
She explained: “We are no longer investigating Maddie’s disappearance as a missing person case, but as a child abduction.
“When Maddie was previously missing, she was found in the company of adult males and based largely on this background, we believe she is likely to be dating someone at this time.
“Maddie is a foster child, no one has permission to keep her away from her carers. She is vulnerable and at risk of being taken advantage of.
“We are genuinely concerned for her safety and have a dedicated team working extremely hard to find her.”
Officials have been conducting house-to-house inquiries in the Southmead area asking residents if they know or have seen the teenager and handed out leaflets with Maddie’s picture on them.
Investigators have also released CCTV footage of the last known sighting of her, a clip filmed at 2.34pm on April 26 at Stanton Road, Southmead, capturing only her feet.
Ms Miller added: “No one has seen or heard from Maddie for 15 days – since she saw a relative on April 26 saying she was going into the store.
“We are deeply concerned about the circumstances of her disappearance; their family and caregivers.
“We’ve had a number of requests and while we’ve had a lot of help from the public so far, for which we’re incredibly grateful, we still need more.”
The officer said Maddie had contacted her friends on previous occasions when she went missing, but police don’t think that happened this time.
Who is Maddie Thomas?
Maddie Thomas is a 15-year-old girl from Bristol who has been missing for more than two weeks.
She is described as white, about 5 feet tall, and of average build with shoulder length brown hair.
Avon and Somerset Police said Maddie is known to use social media to meet people who could give her money and a place to stay and has been found with men in hotels in the past.
Ms Miller added that the teenager may have changed her hair color and may be using a different name.
She said: “We are really concerned for her safety because she is likely to be with someone who is taking advantage of her.
“She is a child and she is vulnerable. Our work theory is that she’s probably dating someone, whether of her own free will or not, we don’t know.
“However, we couldn’t find them, and that’s the really worrying thing.”
Investigators believe Maddie could be anywhere in the country and have been vying for information from far and wide.
Det Insp Stuart Toms of Avon and Somerset Police added: “Maddie is a vulnerable young girl who is at risk of exploitation and we urgently need the public’s help to find her and make sure she is safe goes.
“Maddie – if you see this, please let someone know you’re okay. Your family, foster parents and friends are worried about you.
“Maddie is very active on social media but often switches accounts.
“Not only are we appealing to everyone who sees Maddie to get in touch, we would also like to hear from everyone who sees her online to get in touch.”
Police have asked that anyone who sees her call 999 immediately and that anyone who speaks to her or sees her online to call 101.
Anyone with information is urged to phone police on reference number 5222098703 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.