Three held over Gaia death released by police

Three people who were arrested following the disappearance of Gaia Pope have been released without further police action.

“Following the results of the post-mortem examination and other ongoing investigative enquiries, we have concluded that no one else was involved in Gaia’s death,” Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell, of Dorset Police, said.

“As such we have today, Monday 20 November, released from our investigation two men aged 19 and 49 and a 71-year-old woman, all from Swanage, who had been arrested and were assisting with our enquiries.”

Gaia Pope (R) with her cousin, Marienna Pope-Weidemann. Pic: Facebook / Marienna Pope-Weidemann

Image: Gaia Pope (R) with her cousin, Marienna Pope-Weidemann. Pic: Facebook / Marienna Pope-Weidemann

The force said the inquiries would have caused those arrested “stress and anxiety” but said it has an obligation to explore every possible line of inquiry in a missing person investigation.

“Our aim was not only to find Gaia but to find out what happened to her.”

The teenager, who suffered from epilepsy, was last seen at around 4pm on 7 November in Manor Gardens, Swanage.

Member of the public help to look for Gaia Pope

Image: Members of the public helped to look for Gaia Pope

Her body was found on land near Swanage on Saturday 18 November, close to where her clothes were discovered in a field near cliffs a few days earlier.

Hundreds of people had joined a search for the missing teenager on Saturday, scouring countryside and coastline in Dorset.

Tributes have since been pouring in for 19-year-old Gaia, with her twin sister Maya Pope-Sutherland thanking all those who turned out to look for her, and saying she was “heartbroken”.

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Video: Sister: Gaia ‘light of my life’

“Can’t find any words right now. Gaia is my everything and I am heartbroken. I thank everyone who was involved in searching for my beautiful twin. Going to make her so proud,” she wrote on Facebook.

Gaia’s father Richard Sutherland earlier said he feared his daughter’s epilepsy may have played a part in her disappearance as doctors warned her that she was at risk of sudden death from the condition.

On Saturday, her elder sister Clara Pope said: “She is the absolute light of my life. So beautiful, so emotionally wise and intelligent and so passionate and artistic and creative… I will always, always, always be one of three.”