This live event has finished
- Ashya King, 5 taken from Southampton General Hospital by parents
- They 'did not have consent' to do so from hospital staff
- Aysha suffering from brain tumour
- Family believed to be in France after catching ferry to Cherbourg
Chief Const Shead continued: "Our message remains the same: please help us find him. Please visit the Hampshire Police website or Hampshire Constabulary Facebook page and share the appeal and the photos of Ashya, his mum and dad Brett and Naghmeh, and the car that they were travelling in when they left for Cherbourg.
"We have had a good response to widespread media coverage, with people who know the King family calling in.
"So far, we have had one reported sighting of the family, which was on the ferry to France yesterday.
"There have been widespread media alerts across Europe, focussing on countries where the Kings had a known association; and in particular, we continue to work closely with French authorities.
"The last positive information we had placed them in France, but by now, we cannot be certain they have not moved on. Our enquiries are totally focussed on establishing where they are now. There is still time to find Ashya and make sure he gets the medical help he urgently needs, but we need the public’s help to do this.
"The registration of the grey people carrier that the King family are travelling in is KP60 HWK.
"If you see it, if you think you may have seen Brett, Naghmeh, Ashya and the six other children, please call us now on +441962 841534 or dial the European emergency number on 112 as soon as possible."
Police say concerns for Ashya are growing with each hour.
Hampshire Constabulary have also confirmed that medical experts have said the battery life on the machine administering his food is likely to have expired now.
Officers also said they have had one reported sighting of the King family, on the ferry to Cherbourg yesterday.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said: "Ashya is still missing, and with each hour that passes our concern for him grows.
"Within the last hour, we have been told by medical experts that the battery life on the machine that administers his food is now likely to have expired. We don’t know whether the King family have any spares, the knowledge, or any way of recharging the battery. If they don’t, without properly administered food, Ashya’s condition will deteriorate very quickly.”
Ashya’s parents, Brett and Nagehmeh, have been confirmed as followers of the Jehovah’s Witnesses movement.
A spokesperson for the Office of Public Information for Jehovah's Witnesses said: "We can confirm that the parents of Ashya King are Jehovah's Witnesses. However, we are not aware of the facts of the case nor the reasons for the family's medical choices, which are personal decisions.
"There is absolutely no indication, as far as we are aware, that their decision is in any way motivated by any religious convictions. Jehovah's Witnesses are encouraged to seek the best medical treatment for themselves and their children."
It is understood that the battery in Ashya’s medical feeding equipment will have run out by now.
The five-year-old has still not been found, and Hampshire Constabulary are issuing appeals in Spanish, Italian and German in a bid to find him.
A spokesman said there is nothing to suggest he and his family are in those countries, but the force is nevertheless widening its appeal.
Interpol has issued an alert to find Ashya to 190 countries around the globe.
The international crime agency has issued its yellow notice alert at the request of authorities in the UK.
The agency is treating the case as a “high priority” and urging anyone with information to contact Hampshire Constabulary on 01962 841 534.
The International Criminal Police Organisation – Interpol – is also assisting in the search for Ashya.
The organisation, which is based in Lyon and has hundreds of staff across the world, has issued an appeal to find the five-year-old on its missing persons list.
❗#AppelATemoins pour retrouver Ashya King 5 ans et sa famille #FindAshya #PleaseRT http://t.co/MZmiHjNOnk— @Gendarmerie 29 August 2014
The devastated grandmother of little Ashya King today urged his parents to 'bring him back'.
Patricia King, Brett King's mother, said her grandson had recently been showing signs of improvement.
His health had picked up and he was even beginning to smile and move his limbs, she said at her home in Portsmouth.
And she revealed the youngster had first gone in for treatment on the cancer a month ago after doctors originally diagnosed his illness as arthritis.
Tearful Patricia, wearing a black cardigan, navy jeans and blue sandals, said: "All I would say to Brett is please, bring him back.
In a statement to the Daily Echo, the hospital described how clinical and security staff made the decision to call Hampshire police last night when the five-year-old boy failed to reappear on the ward with his parents.
They refused to be drawn further on the matter, saying further enquiries should now be directed to police who are leading an international search for the seriously ill boy who has been taken to France by his parents.
The statement read: “Ashya has a serious condition that requires constant medical supervision and treatment. “Following his removal from hospital by his parents yesterday, clinical and security staff referred the incident to Hampshire police.
“We continue to work closely with them to support the search and investigation and have provided a comprehensive detailed medical report on Ashya to ensure any hospital he is taken to can provide the care he requires immediately.
“Ashya was a long term patient who was permitted to leave the ward under the supervision of his parents as part of his ongoing rehabilitation.
“When the length of time he had been absent became a cause of concern to staff yesterday afternoon they contacted police after a search of the site and attempts to contact the family were unsuccessful.”
"Anyone with information which may help us locate Ashya King should contact Hampshire Constabulary as soon as possible on 101 quoting Operation Aquilion.
"From outside the UK, please call us on 0044 1962 841534.
"In France, please call the emergency 112 number."
Mr Shead said the family's religious beliefs are ''irrelevant'' at this point in the investigation.
Appealing directly to the family, Mr Shead said: ''Our message to you is 'please take Ashya to the nearest hospital immediately'.
''We understand this must be an awful time for you but the most important thing is to get the proper medical care for Ashya.
''Please work with us to provide Ashya that care.''
Mr Shead said police were keeping ''an open mind'' about the parents' motive for taking their son from hospital.
''It's irrelevant at this point in time,'' he said. ''The most important thing is to actually locate Ashya. There is a five-year-old's life at stake here.''
Police have said their ''total focus'' is in finding Ashya and his parents are not under criminal investigation at this time.
Brittany Ferries confirmed the family had travelled on board its cross-Channel ferry and the company was assisting Hampshire Police with its inquiries.
A spokesman said the family had declared they were travelling with a child with ''special medical needs'' at the time of booking.
Police cars outside Southampton General Hospital this morning:
Anyone with information which may help locate Ashya King should contact Hampshire Constabulary as soon as possible on 101 quoting Operation Aquilion.
Assistant chief constable Chris Shead
Assistant chief constable Chris Shead said: "There is no indication he was unhooked from any equipment.
"He has certainly been in hospital for the last week but whether he was allowed to leave the hospital is a question for the hospital.
"It is our dearest hope that his parents will hear this appeal and recognise the gravity and will take him to the nearest hospital."
To recap the major events so far:
- Ashya King was taken from Southampton General Hospital by his parents at 2.15pm yesterday.
- By 4pm, they were on a ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg.
- The hospital reported the incident to Hampshire Constabulary at 8.35pm.
- At that time, a search was immediately launched.
- The information was made public at 7.20am this morning.
This is a picture from Hampshire Constabulary of Ashya's dad, Brett King.
This is a photo of Ashya's mother, Naghemeh King.
Southampton General Hospital have not commented on the situation yet, but may release a statement later today.
The press conference has now concluded.
Ashya had been in hospital for at least at week. It is not known if he had been previously allowed out beyond the hospital doors.
One of the major concerns is that the batteries of Ashya's feeding machine are likely to run out of power at any moment.
The family are not previously known to police and have no criminal history. "They are a normal family".
The family must take Ashya to the nearest hospital to them as soon as possible, it has been added.
Hampshire Constabulary are liasing with officers in France and neighbouring countries.
Ashya is described as a 'five-year-old boy whose life is at stake'.
Officers are keeping an open mind as to the motives of the parents for taking the child from the hospital.
They are not aware of any previous attempts to try and take him.
There is a 'desperate need' to make sure the boy gets the medical care he needs.
Southampton General Hospital notified Hampshire Constabulary at 8.35pm last night that Ashya King has gone missing from the hospital.
The conference has now begun and police are outlining the details of the case, which we have reported this morning.
We're still waiting for the press conference - which is being held in Netley - to begin.
This is one of the videos upload by Ashya's older brother, Naveed, about his sibling's time in hospital.
The family were travelling in a grey Hyundai I800 Style CRDI, registration KP60 HWK.
A CCTV image released by police of Brett King wheeling young Ashya King out of Southampton General Hospital.
Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson of Hampshire Major Investigation team said: “If we do not locate Ashya today there are serious concerns for his life. He is receiving constant medical care within the UK due to recent surgery and ongoing medical issues.
"Without this specialist 24 hour care Ashya is at risk of additional health complications which place him at substantial risk.
“He needs to be taken to a medical facility for his urgent health requirements as soon as he is located.
“We have also launched a social media appeal and would urge everyone to share this appeal, particularly if you have friends and relatives in France and bordering countries.”
Ashya cannot communicate verbally and is immobile and is likely to be in a wheelchair or buggy.
Police believe if he is not found today there are serious concerns for his life due to his illness.
He was receiving 24-hour medical care in Hampshire after undergoing surgery recently as well as other ongoing medical issues.
Police are about to give a public briefing about their search for the family. It is due to start in 10 minutes.
He was taken by his parents Brett King, 51, and Naghemeh King, 45, from Southampton General Hospital against doctors' wishes at around 2pm on Thursday, August 28 and they were seen boarding a continental ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg with Ashya and his six siblings, which arrived at 8pm last night.
A major police search is underway this morning after a five-year-old boy suffering from a brain tumour was snatched from Southampton General Hospital.
Police are desperately trying to track Ashya King, believed to be in France, over serious concerns his life may be at risk.