UPDATED: A large scale search and rescue operation is continuing on the Isle of Wight this evening (Thursday) in a bid to locate missing 44-year-old Charlotte Alder, who hasn’t been seen since yesterday afternoon.
Family and friends raised concerns for the Shanklin woman after she left St Mary’s Hospital in scrubs with no mobile, money or medication to help control her epilepsy.
Island Echo published the family’s concerns at just gone 22:00 last night as the severity of her condition became clear, but it wasn’t until 06:00 this morning that Police issued a formal appeal for information.
Hampshire Constabulary have spent the day piecing together the last known movements of Ms Alder using local CCTV. It is understood that Charlotte was spotted on camera at Coppins Bridge, Newport at around 16:10 yesterday. She hasn’t been seen since.
Now, 24 hours later, volunteers from WightSAR – the Island’s search and rescue team – are conducting a fingertip search of the Newport to Sandown cycle path. It is thought Charlotte may have tried to get home to Shanklin. Worryingly, temperatures in the area dropped to -2c overnight.
Police say they have had quite a few reported sightings of Charlotte on the path between Matalan in Newport and towards Arreton. Officers are asking walkers and cyclists if they have seen Charlotte and are also appealing for drivers with dashcams to check their footage.
The National Police Air Service helicopter conducted an aerial sweep of the Newport, Arreton and Sandown areas earlier this afternoon but failed to locate Alder, who is also known as Charlotte Birch. During the early hours of this morning Coastguard Rescue 175 also swept the banks of the River Medina.
Charlotte is described as being white, 5ft 6ins tall, of a slim build with shoulder length brown hair. She wears glasses.
UPDATE @ 20:04 – Hampshire Constabulary say they have received another report of a sighting of missing Charlotte Alder, this time in the Rookley area between 19:15 and 20:15 last night.
Search teams have now repositioned themselves to this location.
UPDATE FRIDAY @ 08:00 – Sadly, there have been no further developments overnight.
Ventnor Coastguard Rescue Team were joined by colleagues from The Needles CRT in conducting a search last night, but neither team located Charlotte. They were stood down by 01:40 this morning.
Island Echo understands WightSAR are deploying assets again this morning as the search for Charlotte continues.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Police on 101, quoting 44190010676. In an emergency dial 999.