Tuesday, July 15 - Police appeal for help after missing mum and five daughters flee to Devon

A NATIONWIDE search is on for missing mum Natalie Bracht who has mental health problems and is thought to be staying in the Dartmoor area of Devon.

A NATIONWIDE search is on for missing mum Natalie Bracht who has mental health problems and is thought to be staying in the Dartmoor area of Devon.

Natalie, 34, fled her home in Sunderland with her five daughters on May 17 after she was informed that all five of the girls - aged between four and 13 - were about to be taken into the care of their local authority.

All five of the girls are subject to interim care orders.

Natalie and her daughters were initially traced to the Harlesden area of London and from there officers traced her to a commune near Yeovil at the end of June.

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Now police have evidence that she may have travelled to Moretonhampstead at the edge of Dartmoor.

On the evening of Friday June 27 a woman matching Natalie's description and accompanied by five children bought a bus ticket from Exeter to Moretonhampstead, arriving at 7.10pm.

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The search for the family is now focusing on the Dartmoor area.

Natalie's father, John Brown, has appealed for Natalie to bring the girls home.

"My daughter Natalie Bracht has gone missing with our five grand daughters," said Mr Brown. "My wife and I are very worried about Natalie and the girls.

"Natalie is unwell and urgently needs help. We want to appeal to Natalie to bring our grandchildren home. We want her to know that we love her very much and we will support her through this.

"We would urge Natalie to make contact with us, or the local police. If anyone has any information about where she is we urge them to pass this onto the police so that the children can be brought home safely."

Detective Chief Inspector Roger Ford of Northumbria Police is leading the investigation.

"Natalie, who has been previously assessed as having a histrionic personality disorder, has now been missing with her daughters from their home in the North East for two months," explained DCI Ford.

"We have real fears for the welfare and safety of the girls and our number one priority in this case is to get them home safe and well.

"We know that Natalie and the girls were at a commune near Yeovil but then abandoned some of their belongings and fled.

"Now we have reason to believe that they may be in Devon. Once again the girls are alone in an area where they have no links or means of support, hundreds of miles away from their home, friends and school.

"We are now working with our colleagues from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary to try and find Natalie as soon as possible.

"Natalie still does not appear to have access to much money, certainly not enough to look after herself and her five children. Nor does she appear to have any family connections in the area.

"The bottom line is that these kids should not be in her care, my message to Natalie is that this has gone on long enough, it is time to give yourself up.

"Moretonhampstead is a small community and I am sure that a woman speaking broken English with a German accent in company with five children would stand out.

"I would urge anyone who saw or spoke to Natalie or has any information as to where she may currently be to contact police as quickly as possible."

Anyone with information about Natalie or her children, is asked to call Northumbria Police, on 03456 043043.

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