Laura Van Marle: ‘Fast-paced search’ for woman who admitted manslaughter after she escapes secure hospital | UK News

A woman who admitted manslaughter and was detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act has gone missing after threatening staff with a weapon.

Laura Van Marle made off on foot while on escorted leave at about 5.10pm on Friday.

A helicopter and specialist units – including a police dog and handler – are involved in a “fast-paced” search in the Wellington area of Somerset.

The staff member she threatened was unhurt, said Avon and Somerset Police.

The 43-year-old was given an indefinite hospital order by the courts in 2021 and is described as about 5ft 7in, slim, with blonde hair.

She was last seen wearing a white vest top, grey denim shorts and black trainers – but may have changed clothes.

“Laura was on foot and is known to walk long distances, so may have left the Wellington area,” said police.

“She may also be travelling on public transport, and has links to Herefordshire.

“Laura is considered to be in mental health crisis and may pose a risk to herself or others.”

The public are asked not to call 999 and not approach her. Any other information can be given to the 101 non-emergency number.