Celebrities join campaign to find missing teenager

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The Independent Online

Celebrities have used Twitter to publicise an online campaign to find a missing teenage girl who vanished three weeks ago.

Stephen Fry, footballer Rio Ferdinand and Sarah Brown - wife of ex-prime minister Gordon Brown - posted links to appeals for information about Serena Beakhurst.

Police said the 14-year-old, who also goes by the surname Dennis, disappeared on December 15 after catching a bus from Herne Hill Station to attend her beauty therapy college course in south London.

She has never been reported missing previously, police confirmed today.

Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police said it had "exhausted normal lines of inquiry" and urged anyone with information to get in touch.

But today officers said they were about to re-interview the teenager's friends and had received reported sightings of her over Christmas.

As well as the famous trio backing the appeal to find Serena, who lives in Tulse Hill, other celebrity Twitter users to retweet messages included actor and writer Simon Pegg and Little Britain's Matt Lucas.

Friends of the teenager have reportedly accused police of a lack of care and attention in the hunt for Serena.

A Facebook group - 'Help Find Serena Beakhurst' - was set up to publicise her plight.

Today, Detective Superintendent John Corrigan, of Lambeth Borough Police, said: "We treat every case seriously and we continue to appeal for information in relation to Serena's whereabouts.

"Our missing persons unit has been making every effort and chasing every line of inquiry in order to trace Serena since she went missing.

"We are working closely with her family, who would very much like to hear from her to know that she is safe and well.

"There have been a couple of sightings of Serena over the Christmas period but we continue to ask the public to come to us with information.

"We have received lots of calls as a result of the media coverage and officers will be speaking to all of her school friends again this week.

"I welcome the support from all of her friends and family who have created the Facebook and Twitter campaign to trace her and assist the investigation.

"We will continue to do everything we can in support of this campaign and act upon information that we receive from the public.

"This is a great example of a community working together."

Serena is of medium build, with shoulder length hair that was dyed purple and brown.

She has brown eyes, is approximately 5ft 3in and was last seen wearing a black leather jacket with gold zips.

Anyone with information about Serena should call Lambeth Missing Persons' Unit on 020 8649 3423.