THE sister of a mum-of-three who went missing following a trip to a supermarket has issued an emotional appeal for her to get in touch.
The appeal came as the search for Karen Simpson, who has been suffering from post-natal depression, continued late into last night.
Karen, of Elm Road, Burscough, near Ormskirk, was last seen leaving the Tesco store in the West Lancashire village at around 11am on Sunday.
Karen’s sister Clair Dobrec, who flew over from Australia to join the search, read out a family statement to let Karen know the family were “all here to support you”.
She said: “We are devastated by Karen’s disappearance, which is very out of character.
“She has now been missing for over 48 hours and the whole family are extremely concerned for her welfare. She is the mother of the children, the youngest is only three months old.
“Karen has been suffering from post-natal depression, for which she was receiving help and as such we are very concerned.
“Karen, we know you haven’t been feeling well and we want you to know that we’re all here to support you. We are so worried about you, we are all missing you especially the children.
“We just want you to know you are safe. The police and public have been searching for Karen and we are overwhelmed by the community support.
“If anyone has seen her or knows where she might be, please can you contact the police.’’
Clair, who last spoke to her younger sister last week, said: “It would mean everything, we can’t put it into words – we just want her to come home.”
Volunteers joined family members at Burscough Wharf and groups were last night continuing to comb the area for any clue as to her whereabouts.
Members of her family, including her other sister Paula, widened their search last night by putting up posters in Preston and Southport.
A Facebook page appealing for her to come home has now attracted more than 5,150 people.
Police were continuing to search the areas she was last seen and diving teams were conducting a methodical search of stretches of the canal in Burscough.
DCI Andrea Barrow said police and members of the public had been searching the area.
She said: “We have an unconfirmed sighting of her at Red Cat Lane, at its junction at Liverpool Road.
“Over 170 people are actively engaged in research and investigation. Detectives, dogs, officers, mountain rescue and British Transport Police are involved – we’re using every resource.
“It’s a really difficult time for the family – she’s got three young children, the family are devastated and really want all members of the public to help.”