Concerns grow for missing South Norwood schoolgirl Shelley Pratt
The parents of a teenager missing for three weeks have made a heartfelt appeal for her return as concerns grow for her safety.
Shelley Pratt, 14, was last seen at around 3.30pm on Thursday, November 8, after she got off a route 196 bus on Portland Road outside the Harris Academy.
He said after she got off the bus outside the Harris Academy she then started to walk south down Portland Road in the company of two or three other people.
There has been no confirmed sighting of her since.
At a press conference today her parents, Lisa and Tony Pratt, said life has not been the same without her daughter, who is one of six children, since she went missing.
Mrs Pratt said she feared her daughter could have been abducted.
Her parents revealed she went missing for three days last year but was then found at a 19-year-old man’s home, underneath his bed.
Police believe she is currently with somebody in a building, house or flat.
Mrs Pratt said: "I just want to know if she is safe. Is she sleeping, is she eating, has she got a spare change of clothes. It is just hard.
"My instinct tells me someone has got her and is not letting her go. My gut feeling is saying she has got herself into a situation which she can’t get out of it.
"She is loved and missed by her sisters and her brothers. She needs to come home."
Mr Pratt said Shelley, who attends Westwood Girls’ College in Upper Norwood, said she was a daddy’s girl and he just wanted her safe return.
He said: "She can strip a car and put it back together again. She knows every tool going and helps me put up my Christmas lights every year.
"She just does everything with me. Wherever I am, Shelley is. She wants to come fishing with me now and catch a big fish.
"She would not do this to us. Shelley is mine, I had her for nine years before the other two babies came along, we do everything together.
He added: "It feels like my right arm has been cut off. She is not there and I need her there."
Police said her Oyster Card had been used in the hours after she was last seen, on November 8, but it was unclear if it was her using it or someone else.
DCI Mark Dunne, in charge of the case, said the Oyster Card has not been used since.
Shelley had been wearing her school uniform trousers and a distinctive dark purple hooded jumper with the slogan 'I love (heart symbol) London.'
The teenager is described as white and around 5'6" or 5'7" inches tall with long brown hair.
DCI Dunne added: "What has raised my concern is that during these three weeks we have had absolutely no contact at all.
"She is only 14, she is a vulnerable girl and the longer things go on without any contact our concern is raised."
"I am asking people to become nosy neighbours. I am working on the basis that she is with somebody in a building, house, flat and I am encouraging people to be aware of who is walking in and out of properties."
Throughout this weekend officers will be handing out appeal leaflets to shoppers in Croydon Town Centre, an area that Shelley is known to frequent.
An image of Shelley will also be displayed on the big screen at Selhurst Park during the Crystal Palace game tomorrow.
Anyone with information can contact the incident room on 0208 721 4906.
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