FEARS are growing for the well-being of missing Limerick teen Chloe Kinsella, as desperate searches continue across the northside of the city.
Gardai are studying fresh CCTV images from the last sighting of the 15-year-old schoolgirl on Saturday night, while hundreds of people are involved in the hunt for the St Nessan’s student.
Chloe disappeared from her home in Kenyon Avenue, Kileely on Saturday night, and since then, communities from across the city have come together in the hope of finding her safe and well.
As soon as school finished this Wednesday afternoon, crowds in luminous jackets gathered outside St Munchin’s Community Centre, as family, friends and community leaders embarked on another search around Donnellan’s Field - where she was seen on Saturday night - and across the city.
Hopes and energy levels remained high the popular youngster, an avid fan of The X Factor, would be found safe.
It comes as gardai in Mayorstone issued a formal appeal to the public for assistance in tracing the missing teen’s whereabouts.
Her sister Lindsey, 23, said Chloe was wearing a plain black top when she left her home on Saturday evening, while she has been described as five foot in height, of slim build, with fair hair and blue eyes.
Close friend, Chantelle O’Keeffe, who was about to begin her search, told the Leader that there is hope she is still around and safe.
“We all just want her to come home. Her family are absolutely heartbroken; they love her so much. Me and a couple of friends have tried everywhere; all the forests and taxi ranks and everything. There are so many rumours going around about where she is and what has happened to her and it is just upsetting,” she said.
John Costelloe, who has been coordinating the search effort for her, said there has been dissatisfaction with the gardai’s role in the hunt.
“We have covered a 10- mile radius around the place. We have checked every bush, every derelict site and every field, but now we are running out of ideas. There is tension in the air and we are all getting very frustrated. There are only five guards present.”
Lindsey also felt the garda search was “too slow”, adding: “There are groups out there right now that want to get involved,” she said.
Sinn Fein’s northside councillor Maurice Quinlivan, who has played an active role in the hunt for Chloe, pointed out that the gardai are not carrying fliers of Chloe asking for information.
Many shops in town have displayed these posters, while the volunteer searches are armed with hundreds of copies between them.
Cllr Quinlivan thanked the surrounding communities for their support, especially businesses in Southill and Ballinacurra Weston for supplying food and drinks to the search teams. “The people have been at it since Sunday afternoon and I want to commend the community centre for their work. It’s really demonstrating a good community,” he said.
To quell tensions between the community and the gardai, Chief Superintendent David Sheahan is to address the community this Thursday.
If you have any information on Chloe’s disappearance, please call 1800-666111, or 061-456980.