UK & World News
Missing Megan: Search Continues For Pair
As the search continues for a 15-year-old girl believed to be in France with her maths teacher, it has been reported that her school may have been warned months ago of a possible relationship between the pair.
Newspapers have suggested that Megan Stammer's friends saw her holding hands with 30-year-old Jeremy Forrest on a flight back from a school trip in February and told members of staff.
A friend told the Daily Mail: "They would always text each other. He would send her messages saying things like 'I miss you' and 'I can't wait to hug you'."
Sky's Rhiannon Mills said it is believed it was the teenager's friends who tipped the Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne, East Sussex, off about the pair's disappearance last Thursday.
Mills said East Sussex Council has told papers they were "aware of an issue" and were investigating before the pair went missing.
Megan's school has so far not suggested that it knew of a possible relationship.
There have been no reported sightings of Megan or Mr Forrest since they went missing.
The pair is thought to have travelled together on a ferry from Dover to Calais on Thursday evening and were due to come back to the UK on Sunday, but did not use their return tickets.
A text message, believed to be from the teenager, was sent to one of her friends saying she had arrived safely in France but did not come from her own phone, police revealed.
Chief Inspector Jason Tingley of Sussex Police said: "I can't give a specific time or date but we know there was a message passed to one of her good friends to say she had arrived safely in France.
"I can't say that message was from her but we believe it was. That gives us some comfort that she has arrived safely and she is in France. That's our last contact."
On Monday Megan's parents urged the teenager to come home.
Her mother Danielle Wilson made a direct appeal to her daughter, saying: "Sweetheart, I don't care what you've done or why, I just want you home."
With her voice breaking, she also said: "Please darling, just do anything - text me, ring me, send me a message. I've sent you a message on Facebook, just do anything. The phone number hasn't changed at home, just ring, please sweetheart."
Describing her daughter as "so loving, so caring", Ms Wilson added: "You know that your adorable princess wants her adorable mermaid back."
Her father Martin Stammers described Megan as "just adorable". He added: "I just want you to come home safe and well."
Both parents said her disappearance was out of character.
"She is always in at 7pm, she is not one of these kids to roam the streets, she doesn't go out drinking or anything like that. She doesn't like the dark so she had never been out after dark," Ms Wilson said.
She added: "It is completely out of character, this is not her, she is not like this."
Megan's family have set up a website Megan Stammers Missing to raise awareness of her disappearance.
Appeals for information have also been posted on Facebook and Twitter. On social networking site ask.fm, Megan recently said she was "excited" about her future and that her motto in life was "You only live once".
Police believe Megan had left the UK willingly and urged her and Mr Forrest to contact them.
Chief Inspector Jason Tingley of Sussex Police said: "We believe that you left on your own accord with Jeremy but we need to hear that you are okay. Your family and friends are extremely worried, but you are not in any trouble.
"My message to Mr Forrest is that this may not have gone as you expected it to. Right now, our priority it to know that Megan is safe and I would ask you to do the right thing and make contact with us. We will work with you to get you both safely back into the country."
Last Thursday, Megan asked her mother whether she could stay overnight at a friend's house. Her mother said she agreed, gave her dinner money for school the following day - and Megan left.
But the following morning, her mother received a text message from her school, Bishop Bell C of E in Eastbourne, East Sussex, where Mr Forrest teaches, saying she had failed to attend class that day, and the alarm was raised.
Amateur musician Mr Forrest, who teaches Megan maths at the school, is married and lives in Ringmer, East Sussex.
On a blog post titled "You hit me just like heroin", which appears to have been written by him under his music stage name Jeremy Ayre four months ago, he apparently wrote: "About a week ago I had a bit of a moral dilemma to deal with, both internally and externally.
"And the over-riding question it left me with was this, 'How do we, and how should we, define what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable???'"
The school's executive headteacher said pupils and teachers were "shocked" by what had happened and urged Megan to get in touch with her family.
"Clearly, everyone's main concern is Megan's safe return home," Terry Boatwright said.
Mr Tingley appealed for any members of the public who see the couple or Mr Forrest's black Ford Fiesta, registration GJ08 RJO, to contact police.
:: Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on +44 1273 475 432 or text +44 7786 208 090.