A family of 12 from Luton suspected of fleeing to Syria were stopped by police before they left the country, it has emerged.
The party failed to return back to the UK after travelling to Bangladesh in April and were reported missing by a relative in Luton on May 17.
Family members still in the UK have said that the party have travelled to Syria, but Beds Police say that this information is uncorroborated.
It has now emerged that one family member, believed to be 21-year-old Rajia Khanom, was stopped as the family travelled out to Bangladesh from Heathrow Airport.
A search was also carried out at the family home on Spencer Road.
A police spokesperson said: ““There was no information, either through the schedule 7 or search, which suggested that any of the family were intending to travel to Syria, so they were allowed to travel the following day without any police intervention.
“While the suggestion is that the party’s current location is in Syria, this remains uncorroborated and our enquiries are continuing.
“We are not prepared to comment any further due to the fact there is an ongoing investigation.”
The missing members are Muhammed Abdul Mannan, 75, his wife Minera Khatun, 53, their daughter Rajia Khanom, 21, and sons Mohammed Zayd Hussain, 25, Mohammed Toufique Hussain, 19, and Mohammed Abil Kashem Saker, 31.
Mr Saker’s wife Sheida Khanam, 27, Mohammed Saleh Hussain, 26, his wife Roshanara Begum, 24, and three children aged between one and 11 are also missing.
In a statement the family’s relatives in Luton said they believe their relatives were ‘tricked’ into travelling to Syria.
It reads: “We are devastated by the disappearance of these 12 and are very concerned for their safety.
“This is completely out of character and we are very worried of the danger they may now be in.
“Muhammed Abdul Mannan is elderly and both he and Minera Khatun have health issues.”
It adds: “This just does not make any sense. We can only think they have been tricked into going there, it is no place for elderly or young people.
“We would urge any of them to please make contact with us or the police to let us know they are ok.”
Anyone with any information about the 12 is urged to call police on 101.