*We have been aware of this story, but usually missing persons cases are solved quickly. This may be something more serious, but hopefully Amelia will be found safe.
A YOUNG backpacker has gone missing in Cambodia.
Amelia Bambridge, from Worthing, was last seen by travelling companions in Koh Rong on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old, who is on a gap year, was due to check out of her youth hostel at noon today to leave the island later on this afternoon with a friend.
But ten hours later, and at 10pm local time, her mother has now been told by the hostel’s manager that her daughter has “been declared officially missing”.
Her handbag, which had her purse, phone and bank cards in it, has been found on a nearby beach.
The former BHASVIC student’s passport remains at the Nest Beach Club where she was staying.
Her mother, Linda Bambridge, who found out the news in the last hour, said: “This is very out of character, she is normally so organised.
“I don’t know what to think.
“The police have confirmed she is missing – apparently the embassy is closed until Monday.
“There doesn’t seem to be any urgency.
“Her friend is still there as they were due to leave the island today, but she hasn’t left because Amelia is missing.”
Amelia left the UK last month, taking time off work after completing her apprenticeship.
It is her first time travelling.
Ryan Harris, 18, who was part of the group travelling the Asian country with the 21-year-old, raised the alarm.
Ryan moved on to another island with plans to link back up with Miss Bambridge.
Cambodian police have been informed but Ryan said they had indicated nothing would be done until Miss Bambridge had been missing for 72 hours.
He said: “She was one of the first people I met over here about a week ago.
“I met her in Phnom Penh and we got the boat to Koh Rong, we all spent a few days together and met up with a few other people in a big group.
“We went on to a neighbouring island but she stayed there with another girl I know who had travelled with us on the boat over.
“I then had to travel back to Koh Rong after leaving my passport at the hostel and when I got there two people told me she had gone missing.
“I assumed she would turn up but I have since travelled another 12 hours on a bus to Siem Reap and she still has not been found. She is supposed to be in Siem Reap by now.
“From my experience I would say it is out of character for her not to come back after a few hours and it is a small island.
“Even if you go your separate ways after a few drinks you see people again ten or 20 minutes later. She should have come back by now.”
Ryan explained that the hostel held passports to ensure customers paid the bill but that Miss Bambridge had not gone back for hers.
“She hasn’t gone back for that or checked out which raises a red flag,”
Ryan added: “It is nearly 48 hours now (*published yesterday), that’s a long time not to be seen on such a small island.”