Missing beauty queen's parents make TV appeal

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The Independent US

The parents of a former Miss Brazil, who has been missing for four months, have appealed for information about their daughter, saying the family "can't take it any more".

The appeal on national television yesterday came after Brazilian police announced they were not ruling out the possibility that human trafficking may have played a role in the young woman's disappearance.

Taiza Thomsen, 24, a former journalism student who became Miss Brazil in 2002 after the titleholder was stripped of the crown for being married, last talked to her parents in September, saying she was in London. Ms Thomsen's parents only announced their daughter's disappearance to authorities on Thursday.

Antonio Thomsen, her father, told Brazil's RBS television station: "If anybody knows where she could be, please contact us, we can't take it any more, it's too sad."

He said there was no reason she would have run away, and that she never told them she was planning to go to Europe. "I don't have any idea about what might have happened," he said. "She has always been a caring daughter."

Ms Thomsen's mother, Angela, said she had not left her home in a long time, hoping to receive a phone call with information about her daughter. "I leave messages on her cell phone but nobody answers. If anybody is with her, please contact us, we can't live like this."

On Saturday, police said they were not discarding the possibility that human trafficking played a role in the disappearance. The family told police that in some of the conversations with their daughter before she went missing, she left them with the feeling that she was being threatened.

Brazilian police have asked for assistance from British authorities to try to confirm whether Ms Thomsen was in England. Marcos David Salem, a Brazilian police investigator, said: "We are contacting everybody who might have any information that could help the investigation."

According to some of her friends, Ms Thomsen had worked briefly in Belgium and there was a possibility she was still there. One friend said that she talked to her by telephone about three months ago. The friend, who was not named when speaking to Brazilian television, said Ms Thomsen was planning to marry a Polish man she had met in England. The friend also said Ms Thomsen was not talking to her parents because she fought with them.

At the time of winning the Miss Brazil title, Ms Thomsen spoke of her ambition to become a journalist and how she spent her spare time making baby clothes to raise money for children's charities.

She moved to Sao Paulo in 2005 from her home town of Joinville, in Santa Catarina state, in the hope of becoming a full-time model.