Parents 'frantic with worry' as police searching for four teenagers missing in North Wales find car

21 November 2023, 12:12 | Updated: 21 November 2023, 14:45

The car the four teenagers were travelling in has been found.
The car the four teenagers were travelling in has been found. Picture: North Wales Police

By Jenny Medlicott

Police searching for a group of missing teenagers in North Wales have found the car they were travelling in.

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"Following information from a member of the public, officers searching for four missing teenagers in the Porthmadog area have located the vehicle they were travelling in," a North Wales Police spokesman said.

"Police officers and colleagues from other emergency services are currently at the location and the families of those involved have been kept updated.

"Further information will be released when available."

North Wales Police named the boys as Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson, and Hugo Morris on Monday as they launched an urgent search operation for the missing group.

The four teenagers, who are sixth form students, were last seen getting into a silver Ford Fiesta car on Sunday morning.

A police cordon was set up near the village of Garreg after police confirmed they had found the car.

Garreg is about three miles from Penrhyndeudraeth, near Porthmadog, on the A4085.

The Welsh Ambulance Service has confirmed that two emergency ambulances, two air ambulances, response units and an operations manager were sent to the A4085 just after 10am on Tuesday.

“We sent an operations manager, two emergency ambulances and two Cymru High Acuity Response Units to the scene where we were supported by the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service in two Wales Air Ambulance charity helicopters," it said in a statement.

Harvey’s mother, Crystal Owen, has said that she didn’t know that her son, 17, was going camping and that she believes the last time he used his phone was Sunday afternoon.

Ms Owen said on Tuesday afternoon that she was travelling to the area to help with the search, as she wanted to follow a lead she received via social media.

Ms Owen said her son Harvey is a student at Shrewsbury College and is doing his A-Levels.

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Harvey left home on Saturday night, when he joined his three friends.

“I am frantically worried, we haven’t slept a wink, we are desperate to chase any lead we can," she told the BBC.

"We didn’t know he was going camping, if I’d have known I wouldn’t have let him due to the winter weather conditions.

"We think the last time their phones were tracked was in Porthmadog at around 12pm. We've been on the phone to the police almost non-stop.

"They are all sensitive, intelligent lads and we are just hoping they parked up, got lost and are OK.”

Lisa Corfield, who is the mother of Maddi, Wilf’s girlfriend, said the boys are not experienced campers.

“They are not experienced campers. They have never been there before. [They] were just going for the night so have a tent and sleeping bags but only the basics.”

Shrewsbury college said in a statement on Tuesday that everyone at the college "hopes the teenagers are found safe and well soon".

"It must be a very worrying time for the family and friends of the teenagers," it added.

Eryri National Park is a remote location and is the largest national park in Wales - covering 823 sq miles.
Eryri National Park is a remote location and is the largest national park in Wales - covering 823 sq miles. Picture: Alamy

Police have launched major search operations for the four teenagers across North Wales.

Liz Saville Roberts, Wales MP and Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader, said the boys’ disappearance was “very worrying” in a statement on Tuesday.

“The disappearance of these 4 teenagers whilst on a camping trip in Eryri is very worrying," she wrote on X.

“My immediate thoughts are with their family and friends who will be extremely concerned about their welfare.

“I understand North Wales Police, local mountain rescue teams and other members of the emergency services are continuing their search efforts this morning.

“My office and I are being kept updated on any developments. I urge anyone with any information to contact North Wales Police, quoting reference No: A184194.”

The force said “no specific” area is being searched - but helicopters were spotted circling areas near Eryri, where it is thought the teenagers were camping.

Eryri National Park, also known as Snowdonia, is the largest national park in Wales - covering 823 sq miles.

The road between Garreg and Port Aberglaslyn has been closed off with police cordons.
The road between Garreg and Port Aberglaslyn has been closed off with police cordons. Picture: Google Street Views

Chris Lloyd, chairman of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team said they wer called out on Monday afternoon.

“Our first job was to look for any indication they were on the mountain. We deployed two or three teams to drive around all the carparks. We cannot find the car,” Mr Lloyd said at the time.

“We are still actively looking for it and are continuing to search. We don't have specific area where to search.”

Weather conditions have so far proved a challenge to the search efforts, as poor visibility in the area could be less than 50m in all directions.

The coastguard responses to a request for assistance from police at around 3am on Tuesday morning but did not find anything.

"The Coastguard helicopter from Caernarfon was sent and completed an extensive search of an area, before returning to base with nothing found,” the coastguard said in a statement.

The four teenagers were last seen getting into a silver Ford Fiesta car on Sunday morning.

It is understood the group, travelling from the Welsh coastal areas of Harlech and Porthmadog, may have been heading into Snowdonia.

“I am frantic with worry,” Harvey’s mother wrote on Facebook in a desperate appeal for information online.

“One of these boys is my son Harvey, please please please share and tag anyone in Wales or get in touch with any information you may have.”

Meanwhile, the mother of one of the boy’s girlfriends wrote on the social media platform: “My daughter's boyfriend is the 1 lad. They have been missing up Snowdonia after going camping yesterday and were due home this morning but have not been seen or heard from since.

“Please share with as many as possible so we can try and get them home safely thank you.”

Police and mountain rescue teams have launched urgent search operations for the group and appealed for any information or reported sightings from the public.

The group was travelling in a Silver Ford Fiesta HY14GVO.

North Wales Police said in a statement: “Police have concerns for four young males missing from the Harlech/Porthmadog area since the morning of the 19/11/23.

“The four males' names are Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Hugo Morris.

“They were travelling in a Silver Ford Fiesta registration HY14 GVO.

“Any sightings please contact North Wales Police and quote ref num A184194.”