Missing teen Becky Watts received a text message from her best pal just NINE minutes before she mysteriously disappeared.
Courtney Bicker sent a regular greeting to the 16-year-old – who read the message but did not reply – last Thursday morning.
Becky was last seen just minutes later and left home with no spare clothes, make up, purse or phone charger.
Her phone has been switched off ever since and police say her disappearance is totally out of character.
Becky‘s desperate family describe her as an ‘introverted’ schoolgirl who would not even go to the shop by herself.
They have tearfully pleaded for her to get in touch or return safely to her home in St George, Bristol.
Courtney said the last person Becky texted was her boyfriend Luke Oberhansli, 17, to make plans for later that day but he didn’t reply because he was at the dentist.
Police forensics teams have conducted “routine” searches of his home and the house Becky shares with her father Darren Goldsworthy, 51, and his wife Anjie, 49.
Friends and family are planning a mass search near her home on Wednesday afternoon.
The police helicopter has been scouring nearby woodland with thermal imaging cameras.
College student Courtney, 17, said: “I’ve got no idea whatsoever what has happened.
“It’s really like she has disappeared with no trace.
“I sent her a message at 11.06am and it went through to her phone, but I sent her a message the following morning and it didn’t go through.
“I didn’t really think much of it. I thought that maybe her phone was off and maybe she was asleep.”
She added: “I’m just really confused and scared. I’m just literally waiting by the phone for someone to call and say she is back home.
“I like to hope she has just run away and will come back when she is ready, but this is so unlike her.
“She wouldn’t go to the shops on her home. She makes someone go to the shop till for her and buy her bus ticket.
“If she was going outside she would meet somebody near by. She wouldn’t walk long distances on her own.
“She wouldn’t walk out at night on her own.
“When she used to come round mine, she would make me walk her back home. She doesn’t like walking back in the dark.”
Becky, who is currently at college resitting her GCSEs, was last seen at around 10.30am on Thursday when her stepmum left their home for a hospital appointment.
Courtney sent her a one-word text message at 11.06am which said “bae” – a slang term of endearment which she used as a jokey nickname for Becky.
The 17-year-old got an alert back saying it had been read, but she didn’t get a reply, and Becky left home at 11.15am.
Courtney said texts were later sent from Becky‘s phone to her boyfriend Luke about meeting up later that day, but he didn’t reply because he was having dental work.
She said the pair had been dating for a few months, and his home had been searched by police, but added: “He is in the same predicament as I am.
“The police keep searching his house. He was the last person to be in contact with her.
“She was texting Luke, but he had to go an get his braces sorted. They were going to arrange to meet after he had his braces done.
“Nobody has any idea what has happened.”
She added: “I last heard from her on Wednesday night and we were just having a normal conversation. She seemed ok – she seemed fine.
“It was just normal banter.”
Becky was a keen user of Facebook and posted regularly throughout the day but her profile has been dormant since last Thursday.
Courtney said as far as she was aware Becky didn’t have older friends and hadn’t argued with anyone in the days before her disappearance.
Her friend had a good relationship with her father and stepmum who have been together for many years, she added.
Becky has less contact with her natural mum who lives elsewhere in Bristol, according to Courtney.
Becky‘s family has appealed for people to join a search party near her home at 4.30pm on Wednesday.
Writing on Facebook, her uncle Joe Galsworthy said: “Please come along, everybody friends, family and even community members.
“We need to have her home. She’s missed and loved by us all and it’s killing us not knowing if she is safe or not.”
Avon and Somerset police said it was routine to carry out searches of homes belonging to people close to the missing person.
Detective Inspector Richard Ocone, who is leading the investigation, said: “Firstly, I want to reiterate to Rebecca directly – you are in absolutely no trouble.
“We are all just worried about you and we want to make sure you are ok.
“If you can just call home, one of your friends or call us on 101, we can work with you to help work through any issues you are facing.
“I would also ask anyone who might know where Rebecca is to come forward and let us know.
“This is completely out of character for Rebecca to leave without telling her family or friends – especially if she is not planning on coming home.”