THREE people were mistakenly arrested on suspicion of murdering Gaia Pope as a result of a CCTV mix-up caused by the clocks changing at the end of British Summer Time, it has been alleged.
Rosemary Dinch, her son Paul Elsey and grandson Nathan Elsey were arrested as police and volunteers searched for Gaia, 19, who disappeared on November 7.
Nathan’s mother Deborah Elsey told The Sun she had given police CCTV footage from her house that showed her son, who said he had known Gaia, leaving his home.
But the time on the CCTV did not match his account of his movements, Mrs Elsey said.
‘So they dragged him in for murder,’ she said. ‘It’s ridiculous. The time on the CCTV didn’t match because the clocks went back and the time on there didn’t change.’
Nathan, 19, told the newspaper: ‘It was horrible. They said I was suspected of murder and my first thought was, “Oh my god, Gaia’s dead”.’
Nathan and Mrs Dinch, 71, were arrested six days after Gaia, from Swanage, Dorset, disappeared and were released the following day. Paul Elsey, 49, was arrested on November 16 and released under investigation a day later.
He said police ‘got it all wrong but it was like talking to a brick wall’.
On Monday, it was announced that all three had been released without further action. Gaia’s body was found on Saturday and police said no injuries were found to suggest third-party involvement in her ‘unexplained’ death.