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Mother of missing woman ‘trying to keep hope alive’

A woman whose daughter has been missing for six years says “every day is a rollercoaster” – as she tries to stay hopeful and does anything she can to keep her child’s name in the public eye.

Andrea Gharsallah’s daughter, Georgina Gharsallah, a mother of two, vanished in March 2018 and was last seen at a corner shop in Worthing in West Sussex.

Speaking to The UK Tonight with Sarah-Jane Mee, she said: “I’ve run marathons, done walks, anything just to keep her name out there. If I don’t do it, who will?”

“I do become frantic sometimes,” she admitted.

Andrea Garsallah's daughter, Georgina Gharsallah, a mother of two, vanished in March 2018
Image: Andrea Gharsallah’s daughter vanished in March 2018

Next week is the sixth anniversary of her daughter’s disappearance, and she said she always marks the occasion, to make sure Georgina’s two sons remember their mother.

She may let off balloons or something similar with her grandchildren, “just to keep the hope alive”.

The boys, who live with Andrea, “want to know why she [Georgina] hasn’t come home”, and sometimes talk about things they’ll do “when mum comes home”, Andrea said. “It’s hard to hold on to the hope.”

Police, she said, have taken thousands of statements in the search for Georgina, but to no avail.

They don’t have regular meetings and we are “just waiting for a member of the public to come forward with information”.

Her case is not unusual, as someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK, according to the charity Missing People.

In 2021-22, the most recent year for which it has figures, the UK Missing Persons Unit, part of the National Crime Agency, said around 330,000 people went missing.

The vast majority are found within two days, but some stay missing.

Sanjiv Kundi. Pic: Satvir Sembhi
Image: Sanjiv Kundi. Pic: Satvir Sembhi

One of those is Sanjiv Kundi, known as Tony, who disappeared while on a trip to Paris in 2013.

His sister, Satvir Sembhi, said: “What we thought was a trip to Paris has ended up being a living nightmare for us.

“When he didn’t come back after a week, we started doing the usual things, phoning friends. It wasn’t until two weeks after [he vanished] that the police took it seriously.”

Sanjiv Kundi (R), seen with his sister, Satvir Sembhi, disappeared while on a trip to Paris in 2013.
Image: Sanjiv Kundi (R), seen with his sister, disappeared while on a trip to Paris in 2013

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She said: “You become a detective yourself, looking for clues, following up leads.”

Louise Newell, from the missing persons unit of the National Crime Agency, said all police forces would conduct reviews on cases, even if they’ve gone cold, or have no active lines of enquiry.

There is no reason, she said, that “missing persons cases should be closed until the person turns up”.

Sky News Source