A TEENAGE girl has pleaded with her missing boyfriend to "come home."

Owen Harding, 16, from Saltdean, was last seen leaving his home between 6pm and 7pm last Thursday and was last heard from around 6.20pm on the same day, Sussex Police said.

With Covid-19 restrictions being heavily enforced, his girlfriend Meg Wells Rhodes believes there is a chance that Owen has attempted to walk the 280 miles from Saltdean to Pocklington.

Meg, 16, said: "Owen and I have known each other since we were 11, and, in the last two years it developed from a friendship to a relationship.

>> UPDATE: Mum issues appeal to find missing son

"We’ve maintained it over the distance, but he has taken the travel restrictions imposed by Covid-19 quite hard.

"Living in different cities, it was going to be tough for us to see each other for a while and he wasn’t going to be able to take a train to see me.

"He left home on Thursday night and we think there is a possibility he is trying to walk to York.”

The Argus:

Stella Harding, Owen’s mother, said: “It is very unlike Owen to go missing and to not be in contact with friends, family or his girlfriend.

"Clearly, it is a really difficult time at the moment and we’re all desperately worried, especially since this is so out of character. We need to be open to investigating all avenues at this critical time, when the clock is ticking and Owen still hasn’t been found.

"We want to ask anyone who lives in the Yorkshire area to keep an eye out for him and report any information they have to the police.”

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry, of Sussex Police, said: “We have been conducting a number of enquiries into the disappearance of Owen which have included extensive local searches and house to house enquiries.

The Argus:

"We also investigated a potential line of enquiry in regards to information that Owen’s phone was in the Bromley area of London, however further enquiries have ruled this out as a possibility.

“We, alongside Owen’s friends and family, are keen for information to assist our investigation which can assist us in locating Owen.

“In particular, we would like to hear from anyone who was driving in the Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs area the evening of Owen’s disappearance to check their dashcam footage. Did you see Owen in the Saltdean area after 6pm on Thursday (March 26)?

“We would like to thank the public for their support in our investigation and while we appreciate people would like to help with our searches we are urging everyone to abide by government guidance at all times. We are utilising all our available resources to search locally and are working with the Metropolitan Police, who are assisting us in Bromley.”

Owen is 6ft tall with short dark brown hair. He normally wears white trainers, tracksuit trousers and a dark hoodie.

If you have information about Owen’s whereabouts, report it to Sussex Police immediately either online or call 101, quoting Operation Chartwell. If you see Owen dial 999.