THE father of Eastbourne teacher, Jeremy Forrest, is due this afternoon to make an appeal to his son to return home - almost a week after he fled to France with teenage pupil, Megan Stammers.
Jim Forrest is expected to make the appeal at a Sussex Police press conference in Lewes this afternoon, just hours before the BBC’s Crimewatch programme will be broadcasting a piece about the disappearance of the couple.
Since 15-year-old Megan and Jeremy Forrest, 30, fled a week ago in the Bishop Bell School maths teacher’s black Ford Fiesta, there have been no sightings of the couple, despite the involvement of police on both sides of the Channel.
At this afternoon’s police press conference, officers are due to clarify the nature of the European investigation, and the involvement of both French police and Interpol in searching for the East Sussex pair.
The last time they were scene together was on board the Dover to Calais ferry at 9.30pm last Thursday evening walking hand-in-hand. Megan had told her parents that she was staying at a friend’s house.
Since then, there has been frenetic social media activity with a Facebook page set up to appeal for Megan’s return, as well as the use of Twitter. Francesca Sandford from the band, The Saturdays, tweeted: “Megan, on behalf of myself, Mollie, Vanessa, Una and Roch, please come home or call your mum. Everyone is so worried about you! Lots of love x”
At the news conference this afternoon, Chief Inspector Jason Tingley is due to speak about the inquiry into the missing pair and “clarify the status” of the European inquiry.
It comes amid confusion over how intensely the search is being carried out on the Continent, with reports claiming that French police are not actively looking and have not carried out standard credit card or mobile phone checks.
BBC News reported that Interpol was unable to confirm that it is working on the case. Neither Megan nor Forrest has a profile on the crime agency’s website, www.interpol.int, under its “yellow notices” section which “help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons who are unable to identify themselves”.
Forrest is also not listed under the website’s “red notices” - profiles used “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action”.
Questions over the scale of the search abroad came as Megan’s family thanked people for their support in spreading appeals online.
The schoolgirl’s stepfather, Martin Stammers, 43, tweeted: “Please continue your efforts, if I could thank you all individually I would, your help is invaluable I implore you to RT #findmeganstammers.”
One of Megan’s friends, Casie Barnes, 15, who lives a few doors away from her family in Eastbourne, said she would never have imagined she would enter a relationship with Forrest.
She told ITV’s Daybreak: “I’m really concerned. I really want her back. Her family, friends, everyone just wants her back safe and soon. I’d never put them both together as a couple. She was a shy girl.”