POLICE say they are keeping an open mind on the possibility of a serial killer preying on North-East prostitutes.

Cleveland Police are searching for Rachel Wilson, 19, the third prostitute to go missing from the streets of Middlesbrough in the past four years.

Her disappearance follows the discovery of the body of Vicky Glass, 21, on moorland near Danby, North Yorkshire, two years ago. The killer has never been caught.

Another prostitute, Donna Keogh, 17, also disappeared from the Middlesbrough area in 1998.

According to a family friend, Rachel's disappearance is out of character and it is feared that she has been abducted. Rachel, of Grove Hill, Middlesbrough, is normally in daily contact with her mother, but has not called her since last Thursday.

Worried family and friends have spent the past few days scouring the town in search of information on Rachel's whereabouts.

Inspector Peter Jones, of Cleveland Police, said: "We do not think there is a serial killer at the moment, but we are keeping an open mind.

"There is real concern that something has happened to the girl."