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SIAN O'CALLAGHAN: Free coaches took searchers to Savernake Forest
TWO coaches loaded with volunteer search teams set off from the town centre yesterday afternoon.
An estimated 100 people gathered in Commercial Road to board the vehicles bound for Savernake Forest.
They were responding to an appeal for help in combing the area for clues to Sian’s whereabouts, because the daunting size of the forest has made the search so time-consuming.
The free coaches were booked by Kathy Davies, of Underdown Close, in Wanborough.
The 35-year-old has no connection to the O’Callaghans or Sian’s boyfriend Kevin Reape, but said she was simply a concerned citizen.
“It was my idea. I thought: it just keeps coming up on Facebook,” she said.
“People wanted to help with the search, and were asking for lifts from strangers.
“That was concerning me, and I thought a local coach company would help.
“I’m just like everyone else in Swindon: passionate about finding Sian.
“Let’s get her home, and put her family’s minds at rest.
“Everyone on Facebook has been coming up with suggestions.
“Let’s hope we find something that helps the police with their enquiries.”
The coaches left at 2.30pm, and the volunteers were set to return at 5pm.
Among those heading to the forest was 18-year-old Jordan Tiller, of Castleton Road, Middleleaze.
“We have friends who know her. Swindon is quite a small community,” he said.
“If I had family who went missing, I would want people to do the same.
“There’s no harm in just stopping to help. It’s an extra pair of eyes, isn’t it?
“I hope she’s all right, but we don’t know if we’re going to find her there.”
Michael Porter, 17, of Stubsmead, Eldene, said: “This is the least we can do. We know Savernake pretty well.
“It could be something as small as a footprint, or it could be massive. At the end of the day, you could have a half a per cent chance of finding anything. But that’s just us – with everyone else there it all adds up.
“It’s a bit scary. But if it was you, you’d want as many people as possible.”
The coaches were laid on by Barnes for free.
The first coach was for those who had pre-booked the journey, and the second for those who had simply heard about it, and turned up in the hope of getting on board.
A third coach was also booked, but not needed.