Father’s thanks for ‘amazing’ community effort to find missing 15-year-old girl

PUBLISHED: 15:34 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:34 01 February 2018

Tilly Rawling. Picture: MATTHEW RAWLING

Tilly Rawling. Picture: MATTHEW RAWLING


The father of a popular 15-year-old girl who went missing for nearly four days has praised the “amazing” community and police search effort which helped to find her.

Tilly Rawling. Picture: MATTHEW RAWLINGTilly Rawling. Picture: MATTHEW RAWLING

Tilly Rawling, aged 15, was discovered as missing when her sister went into her bedroom on Sunday, January 28 morning and noticed the window was open.

The Old Buckenham High School pupil was not seen for nearly four days, although she made a brief call to her father from a payphone in Hammersmith on Monday morning, during which she assured him she was safe.

Police also said she was spotted on CCTV at King’s Cross station on the day she made the call.

Her disappearance sparked a major search effort, with thousands people sharing appeals on social media and posters distributed amongst Norwich taxi drivers.

Tilly Rawling. Picture: MATTHEW RAWLINGTilly Rawling. Picture: MATTHEW RAWLING

Mr Rawling himself drove around the Attleborough and Norwich areas looking for her and distributing posters.

There was particular concern over the fact she had no clothes other than the hooded Slazenger top and black jeans that she was stood up in.

She also had no money and had left her mobile phone behind, leaving her dad to make the emotional direct plea of: “We just want you back.”

Mr Rawling has since confirmed that his daughter was found “safe and well” on Thursday, February 1 at 1am at Norwich railway station.

Since returning, she has been resting back at her home in Lavender Close, Attleborough, where she lives part of the week with her 12-year-old sister and 10-year-old brother.

She spends the rest of the time with her mother, Nicola Walker, in Quidenham.

“I was really relieved,” said Mr Rawling, a paramedic with the NHS 111 telephone service, of Tilly’s return.

“Everyone really looked out for her and spread the word.

“There was lots of help and support being offered, particularly help from her friends. It was amazing really.”

He particularly praised police officers, adding: “The police were superb. They just went the extra mile and handled it sensitively.

“There are lots of positives from a horrible situation.”

At one stage it was believed Tilly might be in London, Norwich or Edinburgh.

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