Unsolved Murders

Georgina Gharsallah

Age: 31

Sex: female

Date: 7 Mar 2018

Place: Clifton Road, Worthing, West Sussex

Georgina Gharsallah went missing on the morning of Wednesday 7 March 2018 from Worthing.

She was last seen in CCTV in Clifton Food and Wines on Clifton Road at 10am and sometime later in Chapel Road with a woman at 4pm. She had left her home shortly before 9.30am and later made plans to meet her father which she didn't keep.

A murder investigation was opened in August 2019 and two men were later charged with her murder. Georgina Gharsallah had been seen talking to the men on 7 March 2018 in Worthing. However, they were later released without charge.

Her family think she had either been murdered and buried in a building site or kidnapped for sex trafficking.

She had gone out to collect a new mobile phone sim card from a shop but never returned.

Following her disappearance her phone, social media accounts or banks were not accessed or used in anyway, although it was later noted that a PlayStation games console she had had was later mysteriously billed in 2020.

The police searched her home, investigated her boyfriend and followed up on contacts in her phone.

She had two children and had been an Arabic speaker from Libya.

She was described as:

  • 5ft 2in tall.
  • Shoulder-length dark hair often worn in a top knot.
  • A Monroe-style piercing above her left lip.
  • Arabian features.
  • Wearing a coat with a fur-trim on the hood.

Georgina Gharsallah had come to England when she was 10-years-old after her parents moved back to Brighton where they met.

Around the time of her disappearance she had been living with her boyfriend but ten days before she had split up with him and moved back in with her parents.

Key events in the time line of her disappearance include:

  • 27 April 2018: Georgina Gharsallah moved back in with her parents after splitting up with her boyfriend.
  • 9.20am (about), 7 March 2018: Georgina Gharsallah leaves her home to get a new SIM card.
  • 9.30am, 7 March 2018: Georgina Gharsallah seen in CCTV leaving Clifton Food and Wine off licence store in Clifton Road.
  • 11am, 7 March 2018: Georgina Gharsallah's parents say that all contact via her phone was lost from that time on.
  • 4pm, 7 March 2018: CCTV footage in Chapel Road showed a woman that looked like Georgina Gharsallah with another woman carrying bags.
  • 17 March 2018: Georgina Gharsallah reported missing.
  • 7 April 2018 (about): Police state that Georgina Gharsallah's bank card had not been used and that her disappearance was suspicious.
  • 20 April 2018: A person said that they saw two men talking to Georgina Gharsallah between 7 and 8pm on the day that she went missing but the police said that that information had since been discredited.
  • March 2019: Georgina Gharsallah's mother asked for the town centre redevelopment to be halted so that a search for her there could be made after it was said that she had been seen there with two men.
  • August 2019: The police said that they were treating her case as one of murder.
  • April 2020: The Worthing Herald newspaper and Sussex Police received a ransom note stating that they had Georgina Gharsallah but it was a fake.
  • August 2020: Georgina Gharsallah's PlayStation console was billed £7.99.
  • March 2021: It was reported that Georgina Gharsallah's mother had been in touch with the police over the discovery of human remains found near the B2141 near Chichester on 28 January 2021.

It was reported that the police had looked into 70 sightings of Georgina Gharsallah but none of them had proven to be her.

Following the discovery of the additional CCTV footage of Georgina Gharsallah in Chapel Road an appeal was put out for the other woman with the bag to come forward but she didn't.

In September 2020 it was said that a bank account linked to a PlayStation games console that had been in Georgina Gharsallah's possession when she vanished had made a £7.99 debit payment recently.

Her case is noted for Georgina Gharsallah's family claiming that the police made 27 key failings in their investigation into Georgina Gharsallah's disappearance.

Her mother said that she thought that Georgina Gharsallah had been either murdered or sex trafficked and said that due to the police failings that they had had to act as lead investigators, setting up their own incident room.

Alleged failings included:

  • Key CCTV footage not being reviewed for more than a year.
  • Failure to place Georgina on an Interpol watchlist for more than 18 months.
  • Nine potentially significant segments of CCTV were lost by Sussex Police without explanation.
  • The early search for CCTV was too limited in area and too late.

However, the police denied that they had made 27 key failings, and after carrying out their own review they said, 'The review found that, whilst initial enquiries were proportionate and the investigation was escalated appropriately with comprehensive enquiries taking place, there were significant missed opportunities in one aspect. The investigation strand focusing on CCTV, with the parameters not being reviewed in the light of new information, some CCTV footage not being secured and some of the CCTV that was collected not being viewed in a timely manner. This means that some CCTV was not potentially secured or viewed in sufficient time and was then lost to the investigation. It is impossible to say, with any certainty, whether or not this would have made a tangible difference to the progress of the investigation as the CCTV can no longer be viewed and we have been open and honest with Georgina's family on this issue'.

It was reported by an ex-police officer that her case would have been handled better if she had had blue eyes, was middle class and had had a different name.

It was said that at one point Georgina Gharsallah's family had received messages on Facebook saying that Georgina Gharsallah had been killed by drug dealers because she had had a drugs debt.  However, her family said that Georgina Gharsallah didn't hang about with any drugs gangs, but admitted that Georgina Gharsallah used to binge drink and smoke cannabis.

During the investigation Georgina Gharsallah's family carried out a reconstruction of the last known events, stating that the police should have done that. However, the police said that they did consider a reconstruction but said that because nothing more was known of her movements on the day other than what was seen in the high-quality CCTV footage, they said that there was no point, and added that further, a reconstruction based on speculation could even be damaging to the investigation.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.