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Dozens of volunteers join huge search for missing teenager Lewis Penfold-Roche, 18, who vanished three weeks ago


  • Lewis Penfold-Roche was last seen on 28 January on Station Road, Billingham

Dozens of people have joined a huge search effort to find 18-year-old Lewis Penfold-Roche, who went missing three weeks ago.

Lewis, of Billingham, Teesside, was last seen on 28 January in the Station Road area of Billingham.

Detectives have been investigating the teenagers disappearance over the last 21 days, with specialist teams searching woodland areas in Billingham as concerns for his welfare grow.

But the people behind a Facebook group dedicated to finding Lewis have stepped in to offer extra help this morning, despite police urging informal search parties to stay away because of hazardous conditions.

The group described the turn out for their search as ‘absolutely phenomenal’.

Lewis Penfold-Roche, of Billingham, Teesside, was last seen on 28 January in the Station Road area of Billingham

Volunteers from a Facebook group dedicated to finding Lewis gathered this morning to look for the missing teenager

Volunteers from a Facebook group dedicated to finding Lewis gathered this morning to look for the missing teenager

Organiser Noosha Laverick told the BBC: ‘I’m in regular contact with the family. I’ve got a son. I can’t imagine what they’re going through, so we’ll give any help we can.’

Jake Ellis Cameron, a friend of Lewis, said he was desperate for information on his missing pal.

He said: ‘He’s such a lovely lad. One of the nicest people you’ll ever meet’. 

Last week, Cleveland Police released CCTV footage showing the last time Lewis was seen.

It shows him in the ESSO garage on Station Road down the confectionary isle at around 8.15am.

Later that week, officers issued a direct appeal to Lewis, saying: ‘You are not in any trouble – we just want to know that you are safe and well.’

Lewis was wearing a red coat and carrying a green and white backpack the last time he was seen, he is 6ft tall and has a London accent.

Police say he could now be wearing a black jumper with The Nightmare Before Christmas character Jack Skellington on the front, or a black Adidas jumper with white stripes down the sleeves.

CCTV footage released by Cleveland police last week shows Lewis the last time he was seen in an Esso garage on Station Road in Billingham

CCTV footage released by Cleveland police last week shows Lewis the last time he was seen in an Esso garage on Station Road in Billingham

Lewis can be seen wearing headphones, a red coat with a fur trim, a green and white backpack, jeans and Adidas trainers

Lewis can be seen wearing headphones, a red coat with a fur trim, a green and white backpack, jeans and Adidas trainers

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Chris Pringle, said: ‘As we continue to appeal for information regarding the whereabouts of Lewis, we hope this CCTV may jog someone’s memory that they may have seen him or know of his whereabouts.

‘We remain very concerned for Lewis as he has now not been seen for over a week and still has not been in touch with his family. 

‘They are also concerned for his welfare and we would urge Lewis to get in touch with police to let us know he is safe, or contact family members who are very worried.’

Officers are continuing their appeal to members of the public around the Billingham area to checking their home CCTV or dashcam footage for any further sightings of Lewis.



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