Boyfriend appeal for missing clubber

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The Independent Online

The boyfriend of missing nightclubber Sian O'Callaghan today made a tearful appeal for information to find her.

The 22-year-old was last seen about 2.50am on Saturday as she left the Suju club in Swindon, Wiltshire, alone to walk the half-mile home to the flat she shared with her boyfriend.

Fighting back tears, Kevin Reape said: "I just want to say how very worried we are about Sian.

"She has been missing now for over two days and it's not like her to not come home or contact any of us for such a long time.

"We all want to know where Sian is and we want her home safe and well. Sian is a bubbly, lively person and is instantly liked by everyone she meets.

"She is very close to her family and has lots of friends. We'd like to thank all of the people who have shown us support and helped search for Sian.

"Their kind words and gestures have been a great help to us.

"Someone out there must have seen or known where she is and we just want them to come forward and contact the police."

Mr Reape, 26, a quantity surveyor, added: "This is a terrible time for all of us and we are praying for Sian's safe return.

"If Sian is listening and doesn't want to contact us I beg her to at least ring the police.

"We are all really grateful for the media coverage which we are sure is helping to spread the appeal but after the conference today we would really like to be left alone to deal with this difficult situation.

"We all just want to know that she's OK as it's breaking our hearts not to know where she is."

Also present at today's press conference at a police station in Swindon were members of Miss O'Callaghan's family, including parents Mick, 51, and Elaine, 48, and younger sister Lora, 19.

Miss O'Callaghan's brother, Liam, 24, added: "Sian means the world to us and we just want her come home.

"If anyone has any information please help the police and come forward."

Police say her disappearance is totally out of character and because she has not made contact with any friends or relatives, they are becoming increasingly concerned for her welfare.

Miss O'Callaghan, an office administrator, had been on a night out with girl friends at the Japanese-themed club before she went missing.

Mr Reape, who had spent the day at the Cheltenham Races, raised the alarm at 9.45am on Saturday morning when she had not returned to the flat they shared in Westmorland Road.

Police have been searching 4,500-acre Savernake Forest, near Marlborough, for signs of Miss O'Callaghan because mobile phone masts have put her telephone in that area after leaving the nightclub.

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who is leading the inquiry, said he wanted to hear from anyone who could explain how Miss O'Callaghan's mobile phone came to be in that area just 32 minutes after leaving Suju - a journey that could only have been made by car.

"My concern is to find Sian O'Callaghan as quickly as possible in order to ensure her safety in these circumstances," he said.

"It is totally out of character. Sian is a lovely girl, a pretty, attractive girl in a happy relationship with a loving supportive family.

"She left Suju nightclub about 2.52am and her movements beyond that point are a concern because neither we nor her family or friends have been able to make contact with Sian since that time.

"At 3.24am Sian's phone is in the area of the Savernake Forest, which is why we've had significant activity concentrated in that area.

"What I am keen to do is find witnesses who can give me any indication of people moving about, of vehicles about, both in the Old Town area of Swindon from the time she left Suju nightclub at 2.52am.

"Also appealing for witnesses to come forward who either saw vehicles or people in the Savernake Forest area between 3.15am and 4am on Saturday."

Police said the couple had exchanged text messages throughout the night.

After Mr Reape returned home at about 10.30pm from the races he had gone to bed.

He awoke at 3.24am to find that his girlfriend had not returned home and he sent her a text message asking where she was but got no answer.

Later that morning he called friends and family looking for her, but no one had seen her and at 9.45am he alerted police.

Mr Fulcher stressed that Mr Reape was not a suspect in the investigation and was being treated as a witness.

"That isn't the avenue that I think is going to provide the answer," he said.

"He is not a suspect. I am happy with the account he has given."

The couple had been together a couple of years and had moved in together at the turn of the year.

Wiltshire Police confirmed Miss O'Callaghan was assaulted in the toilets of the same nightclub in October 2008, when another woman punched her.

Last year, police in Swindon warned revellers not to walk home alone following a series of sex attacks.

However, police downplayed any links between the attacks and the disappearance of Miss O'Callaghan.

"I've looked at all of those and all the intelligence that we have and I have certainly discounted it," Mr Fulcher said.

"It is not a primary line of inquiry."

Miss O'Callaghan is described as being white, 5ft 3in tall, of medium build, with brown hair cut in an asymmetric style and green eyes.

She was wearing a grey dress, black bolero-style jacket, dark tights and flat boots when she was last seen, and was carrying a dark handbag with a beige flower attached.

Concerned friends have set up Facebook groups and appealed for help on Twitter, as well as putting up posters in the Old Town area and close to her home.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 0845 408 7000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.