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A missing British backpacker, who was last seen at a Cambodia beach party, had been having the “best time” in the country before her disappearance, her family says.
Amelia Bambridge, 21, was last seen early Thursday morning around 3 a.m. or 3:30 a.m. at a party at Police Beach in Koh Rong, according to the Lucie Blackman Trust, an organization devoted to helping find missing British citizens overseas.
She had been staying at the Nest Beach Club Hostel, about a 40-minute walk from the party, but she never returned to the hostel, sparking “serious concerns for her welfare,” the organization said.
Bambridge’s backpack, which had her purse, phone and bank cards inside, was later found on some rocks along a nearby beach Thursday morning, according to Sky News.
Bambridge was reported missing after the hostel called her mother when she failed to check out as planned on Thursday.
Bambridge had embarked on her adventure on Sept. 27—first stopping in Vietnam—after saving for nearly two years for the trip, BBC News reports.
"She's literally wanted to go traveling her whole life. She has spent the past two years saving for it and spent the last year reading blogs of travelers, researching what she was going to do," her sister Georgie Bambridge told Sky News.
Just hours before she disappeared, Georgie and her sister had spoken on the phone and Amelia gushed about the trip. Georgie said Amelia reported that she was having “the best time ever” and was “loving” the adventure.
"She said it was doing so much for her confidence and she found so many people who were friendly,” Georgie told the outlet. "She said 'Everyone is so cool here' and couldn't be happier."
The sisters spoke Wednesday during the day before Amelia set off for the party with some friends she had met during the trip.
Her disappearance has sparked a large search effort in Cambodia and has included the use of drones and divers.
Chhoeun Chantha, the commune chief of Koh Rong, told The Daily Mail that he is concerned the 21-year-old may have drowned because her bag was found on a rock near the ocean.
However, in a post on Facebook, Amelia’s brother Harry Bambridge—who traveled to Cambodia to help with the search—said he remains optimistic.
“I seriously believe there is still hope for her to be found alive,” he wrote.
Harry also asked friends to share the information about his missing sister in the hopes of putting more “pressure on the island” to find her.
“So I’ve landed in Cambodia, in a taxi to attempt to make the last ferry to the island which is a 5 hour taxi. I’m totally over whelmed with everyone’s support and I can’t thank you all enough,” he wrote in another post early yesterday morning.
Amelia’s mother and father have also reportedly traveled to Cambodia while her sisters remain in Britain to try to raise money for additional search efforts.
"Our number one mission is Amelia. We need to find her. We don't know what's happened. We don't know what's gone on,” Georgie told the BBC.
Authorities said Amelia was last seen wearing a lilac floral shirt, beige cycling shorts and glasses when she disappeared. She is described as 5’2” with a slim build.
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