A DETECTIVE investigating the disappearance of a 16-year-old boy says no further lines of enquiry have been made after the most recent appeals.

Owen Harding went missing from his home in Saltdean shortly after 6pm on March 26.

It was three days after the lockdown was announced and his mother Stella said Owen had struggled with it.

She has revealed her heartache at not knowing what has happened to Owen.

It is believed he may have tried to walk 280 miles to see his 16-year-old girlfriend Meg in Yorkshire, as the two had spoken to each other and calmed each other down. But there are also fears that Owen may have been involved in a tragedy at the cliffs.

Detective Inspector Mark Rosser said the investigation remains open. But recent appeals to track down people in Saltdean who may have been the last to see Owen have not produced any further information, the detective said.

Det Insp Rosser said: “Our searches have extended along the coastline as far east as Dungeness in Kent and following the advice of an oceanographer from the University of Southampton, we have also alerted colleagues across the Channel.

“The investigation remains open and we would welcome any further information that might lead us to Owen.”

Owen was last seen on CCTV heading towards the cliffs at 6.13pm. His phone disconnected from the mast at 6.23pm.

There have been fears the teenager could be trying to walk to see his girlfriend, who lives in Pocklington, Yorkshire.

Speaking last month, Stella said: “When Owen left, he was upset that he wasn’t going to be able to get a train to visit his girlfriend Meg.

“While it is extremely out of character for Owen to leave and not be in contact, coronavirus has put everyone under lots of strain.”

She said his five-year-old sister is aware of his absence and said: “She keeps asking when is Owen coming back, and my heart is aching at the possible thought of having to tell her that he is not ever coming back.

“What it feels like is that I’m kind of teetering on the edge of the precipice above a massive bottomless canyon of grief. And I don’t know if I can actually allow myself to jump into it.”

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

Police have launched Operation Chartwell. 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.