POLICE are carrying out searches of a river in Southampton for a woman who has been missing for six months.

Officers are searching the River Itchen in their hunt for missing Joanne Sheen.

Police said today that they are also looking for Joanne in the area surrounding Empress Road, in the city's Bevois Valley.

A statement from Hampshire Police said specialist officers are continuing to support Ms Sheen's family throughout this difficult time.

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It comes as police renewed their appeal for any information that may help them find the 44-year-old who was reported missing by her family on Saturday, February 22.

The last known corroborated sighting of Joanne was when she travelled from Fareham back to Southampton with a friend on Thursday, December 5.

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Following the missing person report, police began conducting enquiries in the local area.

The force said it was not out of character for Joanne to occasionally not make contact with friends and loved ones for some weeks.

However, after months had passed, on Friday, April 17, officers launched a public appeal to help find Joanne.

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Since that time police have been conducting a number of enquiries and looking at new information that could help us locate her.

A team of professionally trained officers are now conducting a thorough search of the area surrounding Empress Road, pictured above, including the river that runs adjacent to it.

Daily Echo: The River Itchen near Empress RoadThe River Itchen near Empress Road

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Toby Elcock said: “We are appealing again to anyone who may have seen or spoken to Joanne since the last sighting of her in December last year, or anyone who has any information that may help us locate her.

“Joanne is described as being white, around 5 feet 1 inches tall, of slim build with long dark brown hair.

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“We are grateful for the information from members of the public in this investigation so far, please get in touch if you have anything further that could assist.”

Anyone who has seen heror knows where she might be should call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting Operation Blackboard or 44200068330. You can also submit information through our online portal by going to https://mipp.police.uk/operation/44HC20W04-PO1