A major police search operation is underway as emergency services scramble to try and locate a teenager who went missing in April.

Shyanne-Lee Tatnell, 14, was last seen in Launceston at around 8.30pm on April 30, and has not been sighted since.

On Wednesday, Tasmania Police commenced a major search across bushland near Nabowla in the state’s northeast, and near the North Esk River.

An area of more than 50 square kilometres is being searched with a team of about 160 search and rescue personnel at the scene, as well as a specialist cadaver dog from NSW Police.

Northern District Commander Kate Chambers said the it was the largest search operation in northern Tasmania to date, with 20 trained search and rescue personnel, 20 SES volunteers, helicopters, horses, motorcycles, ATVs drones and more than 100 police recruits all searching.

“We would like to acknowledge our key partners – the Australian Federal Police who are assisting us with their ground penetrating radar capability and NSW Police for the use of their specialist cadaver dog and dog handler.”

Detective Acting Inspector Andrew Hanson said all the vehicles of interest previously the focus of investigation have been identified, with all drivers speaking to police.

“We’ve searched the North Esk River several times – using helicopters and ground search and rescue crews, with the help of volunteers on foot, horseback and ATVs,” he said.

“Our investigative team has spent considerable time scouring CCTV, interviewing witnesses, and meticulously following up every lead.

“The Tasmanian community has been fantastic and provided several important pieces of information to police. Each and every one has been thoroughly followed up,” he said.

“Our search efforts this week are as a result of our commitment to locate Shyanne-Lee and act on all information or leads. We are doing everything in our power to make that happen.”

The search is expected to be ongoing for “several days,” and police are urging anyone with information about Shyanne-Lee’s whereabouts to come forward.

Shyanne-Lee has been described as about 160cm tall, of a slim build with blonde hair.

She was wearing a cream coloured hoodie with dark writing on the chest and shoulder area, with bike shorts when she was last seen.

The case is still being treated as a missing persons, with no indication it has turned into a homicide investigation.

About 100 members of family and friends held a vigil for Shyanne-Lee in Launceston’s City Park in June.

Anyone with information that would assist police to locate Shyanne-Lee or determine her movements is asked to contact police on 131 444 or report anonymously through Crime Stoppers Tasmania.


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By Rahul

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