Mystery surrounds the disappearance of a German traveller who went missing from a Lancaster hotel last week.
Police have launched a nationwide hunt for Gilljen Theison, who left all her belongings at a Caton hotel before disappearing from the Travelodge in Spring Garden Street overnight last Thursday, March 20.
The 40-year-old, who had been spending a year travelling the country, turned up “dishevelled and muddy” at The Scarthwaite Hotel at the Crook O’ Lune last Thursday morning.
Owner Michael Hart said she left all her possessions – including cameras, laptop, clothes, make-up, walking poles and her toothbrush – in her room.
He said: “She arrived around 10am looking very dishevelled and muddy and asked for a room and to do some laundry, and then she took herself off to bed, sleeping for around five hours.
“She said she was happy and that she had been walking in Yorkshire, and then she jumped in her car and off she went.
“She returned around 6pm, had a glass of water and then went off again.”
Miss Theison, who is single, is then believed to have gone to The Castle Inn in Main Street, Hornby, where her hire car - a light blue Fiat 500 - was found.
Mr Hart added: “We reported this to the police on Friday morning and we’ve not heard from her since.
“She went from here to The Castle Inn in Hornby, had something to eat, and I believe she said she couldn’t remember where she was staying, although she had a room key with Scarthwaite Hotel written on it.
“I think then she was taken to the Travelodge in Lancaster because there were no rooms available at The Castle.
“It’s really most peculiar.
“I really hope that she turns up. The circumstances just don’t stack up.
“She didn’t seem distressed to me, but I understand she became distressed when she arrived in Hornby.
“I just hope she’s okay.”
Detective Inspector Bev Foster, of Lancashire Police, confirmed that Miss Theison got a lift from Hornby to the Travelodge in Lancaster after becoming confused about where she was staying.
Det Insp Foster said that she still had her handbag with her, containing identification and bank cards, and that her English was good.
Miss Theison is believed to be spending a year travelling. She is described as white, 5ft 11ins, with shoulder-length mousey hair and blue eyes.
Police have circulated her details to forces across the country and to ports and airports and are liaising with the authorities in Germany.
Miss Theison’s family, who she last spoke to around two weeks ago, are being kept updated with developments.
Det Insp Foster said: “We are growing very concerned for Gilljen’s welfare as it is now some days since she has been seen.
“We just need to know she is okay and we are making extensive enquiries to try to find her but we also need the public’s help.
“I would appeal to anyone who may have seen someone matching her description to get in touch. I would also appeal to Gilljen herself to contact us to let us know she is safe if she sees this appeal.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 0677 of March 21.