Hundreds of volunteers search for missing 87-year-old Margaret Smith

Margaret Smith, who has gone missing from her home in Swanton Morley. 

Margaret Smith, who has gone missing from her home in Swanton Morley. - Credit: Supplied by Murray Smith

Soldiers from the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards Army regiment joined hundreds of volunteers in the search for a missing 87-year-old woman.

More than 300 people in total worked up until the sun had set yesterday to help police in their search for Margaret Smith.

She was last seen at her home at the Lincoln House care home in Dereham Road, Swanton Morley, shortly after 9.30pm on Sunday, June 13.

A police spokesperson confirmed Mrs Smith remains missing this morning, and has now not been seen for almost 48 hours.

On Tuesday evening, Swanton Morley Parish Council put out a call asking anyone who could to help widen the search for the former Dereham Neatherd High School librarian, who has Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.

In a late-night update on social media, the council praised the "amazing community response".

Margaret Smith, 80, is missing from her Swanton Morley home.

Margaret Smith, 80, is missing from her Swanton Morley home. - Credit: Norfolk Police

A post late last night from council chairman Roger Atterwill said: "We have now stopped the volunteer search in Swanton Morley because the light has faded and we have to think about the safety of the volunteers.

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"We had over 300 volunteers come to the village hall from Swanton Morley, members of 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards, surrounding villages and Dereham. I am humbled and deeply grateful to every one of you.

"Volunteers have this evening covered a large area from Hoe to Neatherd Moor to Bawdeswell Heath to Mowles Road. The police are carrying out more detailed searches using drones and utilising a specialist lowland rescue team.

"I have liaised further with the Police and they will let me know in the morning if they need further help from the community. In the meantime can I please ask you all to check your garden and outbuildings."

It comes after son Murray Smith, who lives in Lingwood, said he remains hopeful his mother will be found soon.

He said: "It only takes one person to spot her. Social media has been helpful in getting the message out, but whether it will bear fruit is anyone's guess."

Norfolk Fire and Rescue's drone unit from Wymondham was once again tasked on Tuesday morning with helping volunteers, police and other search agencies to look for Mrs Smith.

Police described Mrs Smith as white, 5ft 4in and of slim build with short grey hair and glasses. She was last seen wearing light blue trousers, a floral blouse and a navy cardigan.

Anyone who may have seen Margaret or know of her whereabouts is asked to contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting incident number 535 of Sunday, June 13, 2021.