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Dad of missing Sophie Smith plans heartbreaking seaside tribute almost a year after she disappeared

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Martin Knowles said he thought of his beautiful, bright and caring daughter every single day and was still at a loss to understand what drove her to lose herself so completely in the early hours of Boxing Day last year.

He said her disappearance just hours before she was due to spend the day with him and other family members was bewildering and desperately tragic in equal measure, and urged anyone who was struggling to seek help.

Sophie, 21, disappeared from her home in Avondale Road in Gorleston at 3am on Boxing Day, without a mobile phone and wearing just a vest and shorts.

Subsequent CCTV footage captured her heading towards the seafront a short time later, but there have been no other confirmed sightings since then.

Her disappearance sparked searches by the community and by emergency services and a vigil at Norwich Cathedral in March.

Mr Knowles, 48, said it had been a tough year for the family including Sophie’s sister Sarah, 20, without any glimmer of closure since a body had never been found denying them the chance for a proper final farewell.

“It has been really tough having no closure and no body,” he said.

“There’s not a day that I do not think about her. Most of the time I am ok but then I will see someone who maybe looks like her and it will trigger things off again.

“Last week I did some Christmas shopping in Gorleston High Street and there was a missing poster of Sophie and that was a real trigger.

“It is difficult this........

© Eastern Daily Press