POLICE in Spain are today seeking the permission of a judge to widen the desperate search to find little Ashya King.
Officers in the Marbella area were due to attend court so they could be sanctioned to mobilise more resources to find the five-year-old boy who is seriously ill following surgery to remove a large brain tumour.
It is understood police cars have been seen outside a property in Marbella.
The youngster is feared to have been without any form of medical help for 48 hours, since his father Brett King, 51, wheeled him out of Southampton General Hospital at 2pm on Thursday.
Within two hours they, along with Ashya’s mum Naghmeh and his six siblings, had boarded a Brittany Ferries sailing to Cherbourg in France.
Leading the cross Europe search to find Ashya before it is too late, Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead told the Daily Echo this afternoon that there had been “strong leads” suggesting the family could be in Marbella.
It is also believed they have a holiday home there.
However, he warned that it was vital the search remained as wide and high profile as possible – fearing that the family may have left the area because they want to avoid being found.
He said: “Sightings point to them heading in that direction but we cannot afford to take the risk that they know they have been seen and have therefore turned around and gone somewhere else.
“We cannot ignore other possibilities.
“The police out there are going to a presiding judge in Spain which will allow them to mobilise more resources and extend and coordinate further activity out there, across a bigger area.”
Ast Chf Cons Shead said hospitals right across Europe were today also being contacted and put on alert. Police are also trying to ascertain if Ashya has already been taken to one of them for treatment as his health deteriorates.
He added: “It’s not beyond possibility that Ashya’s parents have heard or read our appeal and have taken him to a hospital somewhere.
“He could even have been admitted under a different name.
“While there is nothing to suggest any of this has happened at the moment, we cannot rule out the fact it might have.
ASt Chf Cons Shead also appealed to British expats living in Marbella as well as holidaymakers in the area to be vigilant and help lead police to Ashya so he can receive the urgent medical help he needs.
In particular he pleaded for people to keep lookout for the family’s van, a grey Hyundai I800 Style CRDI with the reg plate KP60 HWK.