Georgina Gharsallah: dozens attend vigil for missing Worthing mother on anniversary of disappearance

Worthing came out to show its support for Georgina Gharsallah on the one-year anniversary of her disappearance.

Friday, 8th March 2019, 7:05 pm
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 7:15 pm
Andrea Gharsallah, Georgina's mother, at the vigil last night

Yesterday evening, the precinct outside Worthing railway station was bathed in a soft light from candles being lit by wellwishers who came out to show their support.

Georgina, 31, was last seen on March 7 in Clifton Road, Worthing, last year, and despite Sussex Police following up more than 60 reported sightings of her, she has still not been found.

The vigil was organised by her mother Andrea Gharsallah, from Normandy Road, Worthing.

Andrea Gharsallah, Georgina's mother, at the vigil last night

Speaking at the vigil, she said she did not know 'where this year has gone'. She said: "All the time we have lost with her, and missed her, and all the time she has missed with her two boys; that is what goes through my head."

Sam Mitchell, Stef Gordon and Sophie Potton were also there. The trio were Georgina's friends from Davison CE High School for Girls. They described her as 'outgoing, kind-hearted, generous, loyal and with a massive heart'.

Sophie, 30, said: "I think about her every single day.

"Please just come home and get in contact. Everyone really misses you. We would help her if she needs us; we would be there like a shot."

Dozens attended the vigil outside Worthing railway station last night

Stef, 31, added: "You see it on TV and you think it won't happen here. I don't know how in this day and age, with camera phones and CCTV, people can disappear like this."

Yesterday, Sussex Police put out a renewed appeal for witnesses, and chief inspector Miles Ockwell admitted they were 'no further nearer' to finding Georgina than they were last year.

Andrea said it was 'disheartening' news to hear. She said: "Sometimes I get frustrated with the police. My daughter is still missing, and sometimes I think what is being done about it?"

She also questioned why some missing people got a larger and faster police response than others. She said: "You will see on TV 50 detectives on the case and they have already done searches and there are billboards and everything. I have been told by police it is down to different constabularies; I know they are still missing people and in the same situation, but you think: what is the criteria?

Andrea Gharsallah has been posting missing person posters around the town

"They probably have evidence that they have come to some harm, but police haven't provided us with evidence that Georgina is alive either."

While Andrea remained hopeful her daughter was alive, she has recently set up a petition to halt the Teville Gate redevelopment so that it can be forensically searched to rule out that her daughter's remains are there.

The petition now has over 4,000 signatures. She said: "The support has been overwhelming. I was quite surprised that so many people have got behind it."

They have also set up a search page for Georgina called the ERVS Search Team, to co-ordinate their own searches of the town.

Members of the community came out to send their thoughts and prayers to Georgina

To Georgina, Andrea said: "We miss you, and we are thinking of you. Let us know you are safe. We love you. Please get in touch with us any way at all."

Among those who attended the vigil was the Reverend David Hill, who lost his sons in the Grand Canyon helicopter crash tragedy in February 2018. He said: “I came to support the family as one who knows the pain of lost children.”

Sussex Police is offering £5,000 for evidence which leads to Georgina being found. A spokesman said: "If you see Georgina please call 999 immediately.

"If you have any information at all, no matter how small, please also contact Sussex Police online or call 101 quoting Operation Pavo. Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Andrea Gharsallah led the vigil last night