Determination to #FindAlice sustains my community

The past 11 days have been extraordinary for everyone living in my hometown of Hanwell, West London, UK. Last week I wrote about how we have been united via social media in the hunt for Alice Gross, 14, who went missing on 28 August.

Find Alice Gross appeal Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder; a 25-year-old man was arrested at 5pm in Ealing (the borough Hanwell is in) on Saturday 6 September, and a 51-year-old man was arrested at 1.35pm on Sunday 7 September.

The 51-year-old man has just been released tonight “with no further action” and the 25-year-old is still in custody at a west London police station.

In spite of these latest developments, Police say this is still a missing person investigation and all lines of enquiry are still open.

I’ve been incredibly impressed by the determination of my local community to help #FindAlice – including a coordinated social media campaign last night to help do exactly that.

Thank you to everyone who has got in touch, who has asked me for links to posters and tweeted the appeals. Every little really does help. People have been asking for updates, so thought I’d write this post to share the latest information.

What’s happening now?
Detectives are continuing to investigate Alice’s disappearance and there is a dogged determination from my neighbourhood to try to remain positive and pray she will return home.

A prayer tent was created at a local festival yesterday as an opportunity for people to meet face-to-face and support each other in person, rather than merely via social media.

From 6-7pm last night the hashtag #FindAlice trended at number five in London, as people took to Twitter to share posters of Alice and appeal for help in bringing her home.

TrendsmapI’ve been reading and contributing to the Find Alice Gross Facebook group posts daily, it’s grown to nearly 15,000 members, with people from around the globe uniting to offer support, share tips on using social media to raise awareness, and coordinating efforts locally with posters.

There are now in excess of 9000 posters across London and beyond, as the message has spread in the hope they trigger someone’s memory and lead to information that will help find her.

Anyone who has seen Alice or has information that may assist the investigation should call the Incident Room on 020 8358 0100 or Police on 101.

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on All Things IC blog 8 September 2014.

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