BY ELOISE WALTON [email protected]
Portuguese police are searching for British resident, Karen Gant, 44, who was reported missing from her rented accommodation in Praia do Carvoeiro earlier this year.
Riki Pinchen, Karen’s former partner, contacted the police in May to report that she was missing.
He told the Algarve Resident: “Karen and I moved to the Algarve in February 2007, but after 10 years together, our relationship broke down and I returned to the UK in November that same year.”
He added: “I returned to the Algarve in April this year for a friend’s wedding and found out that Karen had not been seen or heard from for a while, so I decided to visit her.”
According to Riki Pinchen, Karen had not been seen since February and her Portuguese landlady did not know of her whereabouts.
“The landlady opened the house and showed my father and I that she had left all of her belongings behind. There were clothes, medical documents, everything was just left,” he added.
According to Riki, the last sighting of Karen was in early February this year. “She was seen by a Portuguese man who knew her and he said that she was walking along a road towards Porches in the pouring rain at around 7.30am wearing an overcoat, a hat and carrying a small holdall,” he said.
“I have contacted the local police authorities and the British consulate as well as the Metropolitan police in the UK. The longer she is missing the stranger it seems.
“I just want to know that she is okay,” said Riki.
A spokesman from the PSP police in Portimão, where the disappearance was reported, told the Algarve Resident: “The PSP communicated the disappearance to every police force around the country including the Polícia Judiciária and the GNR, as well as to the European system within the Schengen area.”
The spokesman added that the process has now been sent to Carvoeiro GNR, the local police force of where Karen Gant was last known to reside.
“If anyone has any information about Karen Gant, they can contact any police force in the country and the information will be passed on to the Carvoeiro GNR,” said the spokesman.
In the case of a missing person, the British consulates and embassies can help in a variety of ways including checking records to see if the missing person has come to their attention, although the Data Protection Act 1998 may prevent them from releasing information without the person’s consent.
They also liaise with the local authorities, pass onto the appropriate UK authorities any requests from host governments for help in mounting a search, rescue and recovery operation and facilitate press or TV appeals in the relevant country, among other services.
According to the British consulate in Portimão, anyone with information about Karen Gant and her possible whereabouts is advised to contact the GNR police in Carvoeiro. The GNR station is located along Rampa Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, 15, Carvoeiro. Alternatively, please telephone 282 356 460.