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Police release man held on suspicion of killing missing Gaia

By Rod Minchin

A 49-year-old man arrested on suspicion of the murder of missing teenager Gaia Pope has been released under investigation, police said.

The man, named locally as Paul Elsey, was arrested on Thursday and quizzed about the disappearance of the 19-year-old. He was the third person to be arrested in connection with the inquiry.

Dorset Police said clothing discovered on Thursday on open land north of Swanage appeared to be Miss Pope's and matched what she was wearing when last seen.

Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell said: "The clothing located south of Priest's Way appear to be Gaia's and her family have confirmed they match what she was believed to have been wearing the day she went missing. Our search area spans over many square miles of grassland, gorse, bracken and undulating, difficult terrain and the public can expect to see officers continuing searches there for a number of days and beyond.

"I would like to renew our appeal to anyone who may have seen Gaia in the area of Manor Gardens and south of Priest's Way since 3.30pm on Tuesday, November 7. Finally, and most importantly, our thoughts remain with Gaia's family at this extremely distressing and difficult time."

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