UPDATED: Father of missing Tia Sharp issues emotional appeal as police step up search
Police are continuing the hunt for missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp - with her mother's partner tonight issuing an emotional appeal for information.
Tia hasn't been seen since leaving her grandmother's house in New Addington at around midday on Friday.
The schoolgirl, who lives in Pollards Hill, Merton, said she was going to the Whitgift Centre but has not been seen since.
On Saturday evening, around 200 residents gathered at Central Parade and attempted to help the hunt for Tia.
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But police have urged people to stay indoors for health and safety reasons and leave them to conduct the search, which extra officers from the West Midlands have been drafted in to assist with.
David Niles, who brought Tia up since the age of five, confirmed the family reported her missing at 6pm on Friday.
He tonight said: "Our family is heartbroken. We are at our wits end."
Despite the police appeal for people to remain in their homes, Mr Niles also issued a plea to New Addington residents to "please keep on searching for my little girl".
Tia is known to frequent Croydon, Mitcham and Wimbledon.
A group on Facebook, Help Find Tia, has nearly 2,500 members.
Jasmine Hart Tweeted: "Hey guys I really need your help! My 12 year old niece called Tia Sharp has been missing for over 24 hours. She was last seen yesterday in New Addington, Croydon wearing a yellow t-shirt and glasses.
"She's very smart and old enough to know how to get around and was given money to buy shoes. It is unlikely that she ran away as it is completely out of character which is why this has become so serious If you see her or know something, call the police immediately. Please help!"
Anyone who has seen Tia or knows of her whereabouts should call Merton Police on 101 quoting reference 12MIS025216.