| -0.2°C Belfast

'Five possible reasons for disappearance'

It is a case immersed in mystery for more than 20 years - a missing schoolgirl who took a taxi to nowhere.

Former counter terrorism officer Liam McAuley (58) came across the story of Ruth Wilson when he moved to Dorking in Surrey, close to where she disappeared.

Ruth was last seen on November 27, 1995 by the cabbie who dropped her off near local beauty spot Box Hill in Surrey - she was just 16.

Earlier that day in Dorking town centre, she had ordered a bouquet of flowers to be delivered to her dad Ian and step-mum Karen.

Numerous appeals over the last 23 years have failed to provide answers.

The disappearance of the studious, church-going girl who was described by friends as "incredibly intelligent" with a "good sense of humour" has puzzled everyone.

But there are now signs that the teenager - who had no driving licence or a passport - may have planned to disappear.

When Ruth went missing she was about 5ft 3in (1.57m) tall and had dark, shoulder length hair, and wore glasses.

New facts have shattered the narrative of the missing girl with the perfect childhood which prevailed at the time.

Further digging by Liam and Martin Bright, an English journalist, uncovered that Ruth had discovered the truth about her birth mother's death just before she vanished.

Her mum Nesta had taken her own life just before Christmas 1982 when Ruth was four. Her friend Catherine Mair said Ruth "was really troubled" by the tragic news.

Jon Savell, the chief superintendent at Surrey police, believes there are five possible explanations for Ruth Wilson's disappearance.

"A tragic accident, abduction, suicide, murder, or that she had absented herself to start a new life," he said.

Belfast Telegraph