Concern is growing for a 14-year-old girl following her mysterious disappearance two weeks ago.

Sussex Police have launched an appeal for information to trace Alex Heamen, who left her home in Abergavenney Road, Lewes, on September 1 to meet friends in Brighton for the weekend.

Her mother received a text from her two days later but Alex did not return home on Sunday in time for the new school term.

The popular youngster was last seen by a friend walking on Brighton's Palace Pier with two men on September 4 but there has been no trace of her since.

Detective Superintendent Russ Whitfield said: "As far as we know, Alex has no money or change of clothing with her and has not been in contact with any friends or family or used her mobile phone.

"Her age makes her extremely vulnerable and we need to find her as soon as possible.

"We want to stress she is not in any trouble but we want to establish if she is safe and well or if anything more sinister has happened to her." The Lewes Priory School pupil was due to begin her GCSE studies last week.

Her disappearance is viewed as being completely out of character.

She has gone missing before, but only for a couple of days, and a relative or friend always knew where she was.

Her mother is being supported by a police liaison officer as she anxiously awaits news of her only child.

Officers are examining CCTV tapes of the Palace Pier and beach area of Brighton.

There was a possible sighting of Alex on September 5, but police have run out of leads.

Mr Whitfield said: "We would ask anyone who has been around the beach area to look at the posters and see if they recognise her. If anyone thinks they might have seen her, either in the Lewes or Brighton area, then we would urge them to contact police as soon as possible.

"I'm appealing particularly to Alex or her friends, if they know where she is.

"It's very difficult for her family and anyone with a teenage child would feel exactly the same, which is why we are appealing for parents to ask their children if they have seen her or know anything which might help."

Alex is 5ft 6in with dyed, medium brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white low-cut top and light blue jeans tucked into black boots.

Anyone with information should call 0845 60 70 99 quoting Operation Warren.