| 13.7°C Belfast

Grandmother makes tearful appeal

The grandmother of a woman missing for almost two weeks has described every day as a nightmare.

Leontia Teague, 20, from north Belfast has not been seen since October 30.

In a heartfelt public appeal, Nora Darling begged for the safe return of her grand-daughter.

She said: "Please, please come home. You know today is my birthday so please make it a very special day for me. We all love you and are thinking of you.

"Please, please come home."

Leontia, who had been staying at a Salvation Army hostel, disappeared after visiting her grandmother's home at Evelyn Gardens in north Belfast at about 4pm on Thursday, October 30.

Earlier in the day she had left the Thorndale Family Centre on Duncairn Avenue in a distressed state, police said.

Mrs Darling described her grand-daughter as caring, bubbly and artistic with an interest in religion. In recent years it is understood she become something of a loner.

Choking back tears Mrs Darling added: "We are very, very worried -- night and day. All the sightings give us hope until the next day until we find out it isn't her. It's just going on and on.

"Every day is a different nightmare watching, waiting, hoping and praying that she comes home.

"For her to be away for so long and for her not to get in contact is just unbelievable."

Leontia has been described as being about 5ft 6ins tall, of slim build with long auburn hair. When last seen she was wearing blue jeans with black lace-up shoes and was carrying a handbag.

In a direct message to her grand-daughter, Mrs Darling said: "Leontia we want to know where you are or what has happened. Please, please come home. All you belongings have been taken out of the centre and are now at home.

"If you don't want to come home please get in touch with me if you need anything; want to say anything or if anything has gone wrong -- we can all talk about it and see what has happened."

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) chief inspector Bobby Singleton said officers were becoming increasingly concerned for her safety.

He said: "Leontia was last seen by her family on October 30 when she visited her grandmother Nora's house at Evelyn Gardens sometime around 4pm.

"We know that on October 30 Leontia had also been at the Thorndale Family Centre and that there had been an incident there in the morning and that Leontia had left in a distressed state.

"I would stress Leontia is not in any kind of trouble. We are however, worried about her and we just want to make sure that she is safe."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police in Tennent Street on 101.