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Missing Sophie: officials in plea to runaway parents

Police and Social Services say they are seriously concerned about a baby girl removed from care and taken to Scotland by her parents.

Detective Inspector Stephen Wright urged Lucy Anderson (30) and Stuart Creaney (22) to return Sophie to Social Services’ care.

The alarm was raised after Ms Anderson failed to bring her to a mother and toddler group in Banbridge at 10.30am on Monday.

She boarded the ferry to Stranraer in Scotland with the child at 11.45am. It’s understood Mr Creaney took an earlier ferry. There have been unconfirmed sightings of the family in Scotland.

On Tuesday evening police released CCTV image of the mother and child on the ferry after they examined footage of ferry passengers after a tip-off.

Mr Wright said: “We would urge Lucy and Stuart to come forward as quickly as possible and return Sophie to her carers or contact the police or Social Services in the area where they are.”

He said the police had “significant concerns” and were following every line of inquiry.

Brian Dornan, director of children’s services at the Southern Trust, said Sophie was in care of Social Services since her birth and in foster care for around a year.

He said her mother had daily contact with her while her father also saw her regularly, which had meant the trust had built up a “a very good working relationship” with both of them.

Mr Dornan said: “The issue is not of deliberate harm. The issue is that since her birth she has not been in her parents’ care on a full-time basis.”

Police have also set up a dedicated phone number to take information from the public. The number is 028 3831 5363.

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