Police say search for missing Katie Foulds is "very much ongoing", 3 weeks after last sighting on St Annes beach
The search for a missing 22-year-old woman is "ongoing", say police, three weeks after she was last seen walking towards the sea in St Annes.
Last week, (Tuesday, February 23), Lancashire Police issued an update on the search for Katie, with the force continuing to appeal for witnesses.
Detective Inspector Lillystone, who is leading the investigation into the 22-year-old's disappearance, said the force had obtained footage from a member of the public who had been flying a drone on St Annes beach, close to South Promenade, on the day of her disappearance (Wednesday, February 10).
This footage showed "a figure walking down the beach towards the water", 13 minutes after Katie was last seen on CCTV, close to The Island cinema on the seafront.
"Although we can’t be certain that the footage is of Katie," said DI Lillystone, "taking into account the other lines of enquiry we have followed and the CCTV images around this time, both we and her family sadly believe it was her.
"This is a desperately sad situation," added the detective, "and our thoughts are with Katie’s family at this time."
The force thanked those who had assisted the investigation, adding that Katie’s family are being supported by specially-trained officers.
No new appeals have been issued in the 7 days since this latest development, but Lancashire Police has today (March 2) confirmed that the search for Katie is "very much ongoing".
"There’s no update in the investigation since we put out our previous appeal (see below)," said a spokesman.
"But it is very much an ongoing missing person investigation."
The drone footage did not show Katie entering the water, and police are eager to hear from anybody who might have further footage of the 22-year-old after she was last seen walking towards the sea.
Katie is described as around 5ft 5ins tall and has long brown hair with blonde highlights. She was last seen wearing a brown ‘teddy’ jacket and black leggings.
Anybody with information should call police on 101, quoting log 327 of February 12.
Latest police appeal
Last week (February 23), Lancashire Police said: "In relation to the previous appeals with regards to missing Katie Foulds we would like to provide an update.
"As a result of our previous appeal a member of the public was identified who was in the area of St Annes beach on Wednesday, February 10, flying a drone.
"As a result of this, footage has now been obtained which shows a figure walking down the beach towards the water, close to South Promenade at approximately 4.27pm on February 10.
"Sadly, and though we cannot be certain, we believe at this time that the figure is Katie, 22, who is missing from home in Blackburn, but was last seen around 4.14pm on February 10 in St Annes, close to Pleasure Island.
"Katie’s family have been made aware and are being supported by specially-trained officers.
"We would now like to hear from anybody who was on the beach at St Annes at around the same time, who may have captured any further footage which could help us confirm the figure seen walking towards the sea is Katie."
DI Jamie Lillystone added: "Although we can’t be certain that the footage is of Katie, taking into account the other lines of enquiry we have followed and the CCTV images around this time, both we and her family sadly believe it was her.
"This is a desperately sad situation and our thoughts are with Katie’s family at this time. We would like to thank anyone who has assisted the investigation following the press appeals."