Where is Georgina Gharsallah

Lolly True crime
10 min readNov 13, 2022

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Georgina Gharsallah was 30 years old when she simply vanished from the streets of Worthing, West Sussex, UK. It was morning in the seaside town, so it was broad daylight on Wednesday, March 7th 2018, the weather was dry with just some scattered clouds, meaning that visibility was good. There would have been no rush for those moving through the area and the public would have been able to observe what was going on around them.

A bit of background

Georgina Gharsallah was born in Brighton, Sussex in 1987, her parents are Andrea and Gassem Gharsallah. She is what could be described as ‘mixed race’ as her father is Libyan, whilst her mother is English.

Gassem met Andrea at Brighton University and the couple had four daughters of which Georgina was the second eldest. Soon after Georgina was born the family relocated to Libya where they stayed until 1998.

They then returned to Worthing and the couple eventually split up and the four daughters, including Georgina, remained with Andrea in Normandy Road, Worthing.

Georgina was quite well educated and having lived in Libya she was able to speak Arabic as well as English. Official accounts say that Georgina developed a bit of an alcohol and cannabis dependency and suffered from mental health conditions including bulimia.

Georgina has two children, both boys but was separated from her partner, (not the children’s father) and at the time of her disappearance, she was unemployed.

The disappearance

Georgina had been staying with her mother, Andrea and on the morning of March 7th 2018, she left the house at around 9.30 am. She had told Andrea that she was experiencing problems with her mobile telephone so her mum gave her an older phone handset and advised her to go out to buy a new sim card.

Georgina borrowed a small amount of money from her mum, said that she was going to a phone shop, the local Jobcentre and then planned to meet her dad.

None of those things happened and in fact, Georgina went to a local general store, Clifton Food & Wine in Clifton Road, Worthing. She was captured by CCTV entering the shop and the shopkeeper said that Georgina spoke to him about her phone and advised her to go to the phone shop. That was the last time she actually spoke to, so far as we can establish.

It seems that after she left the shop, Georgina simply vanished from the streets of Worthing. There has been a possible CCTV sighting but I am not convinced that it is Georgina. If it is her in the image then she is with another woman and appears to have changed her footwear. Georgina was wearing Black high-heeled boots in the video at Clifton Food & Wine, but the woman in the later CCTV clip is wearing flat-heeled tan colour boots. Despite the image being posted in the media no one has come forward to say that she is the other woman in that image.

Is the woman on the left of the picture really Georgina Gharsallah? I don’t think so

Andrea told Refinery29 in an interview

“I last saw George, as we call her, downstairs at home on the morning of 7th March. She was sitting on the floor doing her hair and I was getting ready for work. It must’ve been half seven or quarter to eight. She said she had some things to do in town: to go to the job centre, and her phone wasn’t working so I gave her mine to get a sim card for, which is where the story of her being in a phone shop came from. And that was it. She asked me for a couple of pounds, said “See you later” and that was the last time I spoke to and saw her”.

“It didn’t surprise me when she wasn’t there that evening because she’d recently split up with her boyfriend — so had come back to live with me a month before — and had spent most of the previous week at his house. I didn’t think anything of it for a couple of days. I’d sent her messages, but Georgina is the type of girl to send you messages in the middle of the night, and when I didn’t hear back we all just assumed she was at his house. That’s how my daughters and I saw it — it didn’t come into my mind that she was missing or that anything had happened to her. Each day we’d casually ask each other, “Have you heard from George?” but we didn’t think anything of it”.

“It wasn’t until five or six days [since she was last seen] that her boyfriend contacted me and asked if I’d heard from her. I said “No, I thought she was with you”. He said he hadn’t seen her for 10 days. I didn’t really know what to say. My initial thought was that maybe she’d met someone else. She has lots of friends and ex-boyfriends who she’s still friends with, and will sometimes have drinks with. That’s normal for her, so I just thought she’d done that. I knew they hadn’t had a good month, having split up, so I didn’t know what to say to him”.

Unfortunately, it was some ten days before Georgina was reported missing, which Andrea says she now regrets but, I can understand that her mum was kind of used to her daughter not coming home every night. What I really find hard to grasp is that a 30-year-old woman walked out of her mother’s home and totally vanished.

Georgina is said to be a very outgoing person and very friendly but has some anxiety problems so she may not always want to be around others socially. She also doesn't always like going out alone.

Andrea says of her daughter, she’ll make friends and talk to anybody. That’s what worries me because I know how friendly and personable she is. She accumulates friends wherever she goes. She’s quite excitable, too — once she gets something in her mind she’ll keep on and on about it.

Based on this statement I can see that the woman in the CCTV could have been Georgina but, I feel that it is less likely based on the fact that no one has come forward to say “I was with Georgina on that day”. The obvious presumption is that something bad has happened to Georgina and if so then I would be inclined to think that the woman in the CCTV image has some connection to what happened on March 7th 2018.

It has been suggested that as the woman in the CCTV image is carrying a Superdrug carrier bag then Georgina may have been with the other woman to that store, but there is no CCTV from that shop.

A fellow researcher/sleuth, Beth makes a very important point in these cases “ in so many cases it appears to be the things we don’t consider or believe could happen that end up being the outcome”. We must not dismiss any possibility or ignore any scenario without investigating further.

Again I have now been made aware of two possible further sightings of Georgina Gharsallah, those being on the evening of March 7th 2018, those are of her accompanied by two men, outside the local Tesco Supermarket in Tarring Road, Worthing between 7 pm — 8 pm and again on Broadwater Bridge being dragged by two men. I have had no sight of any images of these apparent later sightings and I believe that the alleged sightings are only statements of words.

The police investigation

Sussex Police seem to have badly failed in the investigation of this missing woman and that is not acceptable. This is a mother of two children, a daughter, and a sister and she deserves justice, regardless of what may have happened to her.

Police have failed to keep the family properly updated and have not followed leads that could have made a hell of a difference. Georgina's mother says “We were in touch with the police a lot in the first four to five months but after about six months it became less frequent.

“We’d email the police and they’d say they would contact us if they had anything new. Even if they didn’t have anything, they should have been updating us regularly. After six months they gave us a family liaison officer. The police said we were taking up too much of the team’s time by emailing — but it was three or four emails a week. I thought the family liaison officer would be easier to contact but it was harder because there were two of them and their shifts were unpredictable”.

“Seven months on and there are no new leads — nothing at all. The search is at a complete standstill — it’s like we’re at a brick wall and there’s nothing. We haven’t had any CCTV sightings since the last day she went missing. When she came out of that shop she turned right and was never seen again. Somebody would have seen her, surely, but I’ve put out so many posters and Facebook messages now, and nobody has. A few people have been in touch but it turned out not to be what they thought”.

Sadly there are so many missing person cases that are as good as forgotten by the police and it is certainly NOT acceptable that this particular investigation has been allowed to drag on for some 4 years and 8 months. The children and Georgina’s family deserve answers.

https://uk-podcasts.co.uk/podcast/the-missing-2/georgina-gharsallah

The police searched the homes of Andrea and of her ex-partner and there was a search made of her bank and mobile phone accounts. Curiously the police say that after three long weeks of Georgina being reported missing the investigation was declared suspicious. Why did it take so long for that decision to be made? Surely the police should have realised that in fact, Georgina had truthfully been missing for almost five weeks at that point.

In 2020, Georgina’s family made an official complaint to the then-newly appointed Sussex police chief constable, Jo Shiner. The substance of the complaints was that the police enquiry had been slow to start, poorly resourced and lacking in commitment.

Specific issues included a failure to collect CCTV evidence from town centre premises until it was too late and by which time a lot of relevant footage was no longer available. Some of the footage was lost and it took the police more than a year to review the rest.

I am not satisfied with the way that this case has progressed and I think a great deal has been ignored or accepted to have happened without proper investigation.

There have been a few possible theories as to what may have happened to Georgina, but I am not sure that any truly make any sense.

  1. That she chose to go away to try to escape various problems in her life. This is probably the most possible given her lifestyle and personal history. She is known to have associations in Brighton, London and with a wider Arab circle. The thing that puts me off this theory is that she is a very dedicated and loving mother and she was unlikely to have left her children.

2. That she had committed suicide in a way that made it very difficult for her body to be found. I have to say that whilst this is plausible given her personal life, it is extremely unlikely that a body would not have been found by now.

3. That she was somehow abducted and murdered, but why? It has been suggested that she may have come upon serious issues with drug dealers, but as far as I am aware Georgina only used class B cannabis so she would have to owe a considerable amount of money for a dealer to harm her.

I will do all that I can to help with the campaign to find Georgina Gharsallah and I know that Bethany Harris is also working deeply on this unsolved case. You can find Beth on Twitter and Instagram. You can also find a dedicated page on Facebook run by Georgina’s mother.

Beth on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bethinvestigate

Beth on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beth4themissing/?hl=en

Find Georgina Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FindGeorgina

I will leave this article here just for now but, I am not letting this one go by any means. I will be back with updates as I get them and will continue to ask questions behind the scenes.

If you do have any information at all then please contact Sussex Police on 101 and quote OPERATION PAVO

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Lolly True crime

Lolly’s True Crime World cold case review specialists, researchers, and Unsolved crime investigation is our passion. Buy me a coffee buymeacoffee.com/?via=lolly