Spanish police has formally launched a formal hunt for rugby player and X-factor star Levi Davis, who vanished after leaving a bar in Barcelona 10 days ago.
The regional Mossos d’Esquadra force in Barcelona took the decision to act on their own initiative and start their investigation 10 days after he was last seen in the Catalan capital.
The officials had faced increasing pressure to assign officers to the concerning case after first saying they had to wait for official notification the 24-year-old was missing before doing anything.
A Mossos spokeswoman said: ‘An investigation is now underway.
‘It is an investigation we have decided to launch ourselves on our own initiative because we have yet to receive any official notification he is missing through the normal channels.
‘We cannot inform at this stage on exactly what is being done and what will be done but efforts to find this man and establish what may have happened to him are underway.
‘Obviously, once we receive the official missing persons’ report we should be in possession of more information that will help us in that task.’
Spanish police revealed on Monday they were yet to start the search for Levi, seen leaving the Old Irish Pub off Barcelona’s La Rambla around 10pm on October 29 after arriving in the Catalan capital from Ibiza earlier the same day.
Ibiza-based friend Richard Squire said he left the island ‘suddenly’ without clothes or cash to take a boat to Barcelona.
A Mossos spokesman in Barcelona said on Monday: ‘We are aware of the news of this man’s disappearance from press reports and social media but are still awaiting official notification he is missing.
‘It appears he was reported missing by his family in the UK but that notification has not yet reached us.
‘We cannot launch a formal investigation until it does but are working on the basis that it may reach us later today.
‘Investigators will then be tasked with looking into what might have happened and trying to ascertain among other things whether it’s a voluntary disappearance or could be linked to a crime.
‘That work will likely involve talking to potential witnesses and possibly relatives.’
The Spanish police U-turn came after the pub where Levi was last seen tried to speed up the search for him by sending police the haunting CCTV images of him leaving the popular venue.
A manager at the pub said: ‘On Monday morning, without even the investigation in Spain started, we have provided local police with the CCTV recording of missing Levi Davis, last seen leaving the Old Irish Pub Barcelona alone at 10pm on October 29.
‘We urge everyone who has seen Mr Davis to contact local authorities.
‘We hope that Levi will be safe home soon.’
Levi’s mother Julie, 51, revealed that she and her eldest son Nathan, 34, are due to fly to Barcelona later this week to help with the search.
She added: ‘We’re going to do everything we can to find him and bring home so that he can get the help he needs.
‘He knows that we love him and will be there for him.’
Mr. Davis, who also appeared on E4’s Celebs Go Dating in 2020, was part of singing group call Try Star on ITV’s X Factor alongside fellow rugby stars Ben Foden and Thom Evans.
The trio were eliminated during the show’s semi-finals in 2019 after a competitive sing-off against girl band V5.
Miss Davis revealed that prior to going missing, her son had told her that he was considering quitting rugby to focus on his music.
She added: ‘He said that he still loves the game but wasn’t sure if he had a future in it. That’s big life decisions, everything was up in the air for him but I think he’d had enough of English rugby.’
Miss Davis also said on Monday he was considering retiring from rugby due to injury, adding: ‘Rugby has not been the best at looking after Levi and he’s suffered a lot of racial prejudice… There was some very deep emotional stuff around relationships that I really can’t go into.
‘It seems as if everything just got too much and it’s led to Levi going missing.’