john whaite

GBBO winner John Whaite appeals for help after his sister goes missing in Portugal

Any information is vital

Aisha Nozari

Former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite has launched an appeal for his beloved sister, after she went missing from Faro airport in Portugal on Monday 5 August. He first raised the alarm on his social media pages, taking to Twitter to post four pictures of his sister along with a direct call for help that read: "Please retweet. My sister has gone missing from Faro airport. We are all worried for her welfare. Portuguese police aren't interested in helping us search for her."

The talented food writer and cookery school teacher has since provided updates on his sister's circumstance, following his initial plea with a series of tweets highlighting her vulnerability. He continued: "Her name is Victoria Cunningham. She has no passport with her. If you see her please tell her that her family just want her home safe and sound."

John is concerned about his sister Victoria's whereabouts

Two hours later the TV star thanked everyone for their support and added: "Still no info on my sister but the British Consulate and police are now putting pressure on Portuguese police to search. We're so grateful for your help. I just pray we can get her home safe."

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Victoria was still missing by 6 August, so John posted a timeline of events and information on his sister's health: "Saturday 11:05: Unable to board flight due to breakdown & intoxication (linked to diagnosed depression & PMDD). Boyfriend leaves her at airport. Monday 13:90 (sic): due to board flight 7194 left by police at check-in. Absconds w/o passport/£." Shortly after he added that: "Apparently she headed towards a petrol station in Faro, leaving the airport trying to take a can of coke w/o payment (can therefore assume no money). My other sister Jane and friend Chris are flying out now to try and find her."

In a further series of tweets John emphasised his sister's vulnerability, adding that she could pose a risk to herself and has a history of mental illness and suicide risk, both of which stem from her depression and PMDD diagnoses. Just before 11.00am on 6 August John uploaded a video to his Twitter, thanking his followers once again and elaborating on her "severe" mental health issues.

She was last seen at Faro airport

Talking about her PMDD diagnoses (which stands for premenstrual dysphoric disorder), John said that Victoria will go "pretty much insane" in the week before and throughout her period and that she may go on drink and drug binges as a result of her illness. He adds that during these periods Victoria shows signs of self-harm and even attempted suicide. He then runs back through the timeline for viewers, and adds that her mobile phone is going to an English voicemail, suggesting her boyfriend has brought her phone back to the UK with him.

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Although she is a risk to herself, John is emphatic that his sister is not a risk to anyone else. He asks that anyone with any information on his sister's whereabouts message him on his social media platforms, but asks that followers refrain from sending well wishes, as this means more messages to trawl through when their focus is on getting Victoria home.

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