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Police thank public for helping to find missing teenager

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 21, 2014

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POLICE have thanked members of the public for their efforts in helping to trace a heavily pregnant teenager who had been missing for more than two weeks.

A major appeal was launched on Saturday as fears grew for the safety of 18-year-old Devone Nicole Derrig, who had not been seen since April 2 when she left the Leopard Inn, in Lichfield Street, Burton, where she had been staying.

The appeal was launched by senior officers who had become 'extremely concerned' about Miss Derrig, who is nearly nine months' pregnant.

The plea for information was seen by tens of thousands of people, including on the Mail's website, and, as a result, the teenager was located within 12 hours in Swadlincote.

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Thanks to the Facebook appeal to find missing Devone, she has been located safe and well in Swadlincote.

“Thank you to everyone who liked, shared, commented on the post. It was seen by more than 162,100 people and shared 2,445 times.

“We appreciated your help, and we know Devone's family did too.”

Officers had been carrying out an extensive investigation to trace Miss Derrig, who had disappeared with her partner, 20-year-old James Hooper.

The teenager was born in Coventry, but regularly spends time in Burton and Swadlincote.

Penny Rhodes, landlady at the Leopard Inn, said the couple had been staying at the pub for two weeks before they 'just left' and that she hadn't noticed anything to suggest either of them were in any distress.

She said: “I saw her a few times and she seemed a really nice young girl, she was bright and genuine. She and her boyfriend seemed really happy together.

“They had been staying a couple of weeks but just left. They took the bedding and didn't pay the bill.”

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