A “major investigation” is underway to find a five-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour after his parents removed him from hospital without doctors’ permission.
Police say Ashya King was taken from Southampton General Hospital at about 2pm yesterday.
The family then boarded a ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg at 4pm yesterday, arriving at 8pm local time.
The family, which includes Ashya’s six siblings, are travelling in a grey Hyundai I800 Style CRDI, with the registration number KP60 HWK.
Ashya is still recovering from surgery and is immobile and can't communicate verbally, so police say he will likely be in a buggy or a wheelchair. It’s believed the family are still in France.
Police are appealing for information as the little boy needs constant medical care and there are “serious concerns” for his life if not found today.
The Hampshire Constabulary said in a statement: “We are working with our counterparts in France to activate their emergency child rescue alert procedures to locate the family as soon as possible.”
“If we do not locate Ashya today there are serious concerns for his life. He is receiving constant medical care within the UK due to recent surgery and ongoing medical issues.”
“Without this specialist 24-hour care Ashya is at risk of additional health complications which place him at substantial risk.”
Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson, of the Hampshire Major Investigation Team said that Ashya “needs to be taken to a medical facility for his urgent health requirements as soon as he is located.”
"We have also launched a social media appeal and would urge everyone to share this appeal, particularly if you have friends and relatives in France and bordering countries."
Police have released pictures of the Ashya and his parents, including an image from CCTV of Ashya’s father wheeling him out of hospital, and are asking for anyone with any information to get in touch.