Maja O‘Brien: Missing flautist ‘was incredibly happy‘

The daughter of a missing flautist has said her mum was “incredibly happy” before she disappeared five days ago.

Maja O‘Brien, 78, is thought to have left her home in Oxford between about 05:00 and 09:00 GMT on Thursday.

Her daughter Petra, 41, said her mother had taken her flute with her and would never normally deviate from her routine.

She said her mother‘s disappearance was “incredibly distressing” for her family.

Police said Ms O‘Brien was last seen by friends on Wednesday evening, and her bicycle was also missing.

Her daughter said: “She was really strong-willed, she didn‘t even start playing the flute until after she retired.

“And she was just incredibly happy with every aspect of her life, she would never just go off like this.”

She said Ms O‘Brian‘s flute was worth about £2,000 and she had been due to attend a concert later on the day she went missing.

Det Insp Jonathan Capps said: “It is possible that Maja was on her way to meet an acquaintance who cleans musical instruments.”

He said the identity of the person she was going to meet was unknown, but is believed to be a man originally from Croatia or Eastern Europe.

Det Insp Capps urged the man, Ms O‘Brien‘s friends or anyone who had seen her bicycle to them.

Officers have been searching Hinksey Park, Oxford city centre and the Four Pillars swimming pool, which are areas she is known to frequent.

Ms O‘Brien is described as being about 5ft 1ins tall, of average build, with short grey hair and brown eyes.