Simon Cowell’s Katrice tweet

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THE family of a missing toddler received a celebrity boost after an appeal was retweeted on a social networking site by music mogul Simon Cowell.

The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent judge joined the Twitter campaign, led by the Missing People charity, and retweeted an appeal to find Hartlepool girl Katrice Lee, who went missing from a Naafi store in Germany in 1981, to his 9.87m followers.

Katrice’s dad Richie, 64, from Hartlepool, said: “He has got over 9.8m followers, at the end of the day it’s got to do some good.

“It’s keeping the story out there.”

The tweet, which said: “Katrice Lee was 2 when she went missing in #Germany in 1981 - help find her #TheBigTweet” and featured her picture, had been retweeted 1,573 times and favourited 257 times by 6pm on Sunday.

The Help Find Katrice Lee twitter account also joined in the appeal, but urged people to tag Prime Minister David Cameron and add: “Does that mean you will meet with the Lee Family???” to their tweet.

Richie said he hoped this would raise Mr Cameron’s interest.

The Big Tweet campaign, on International Missing Children’s Day, saw a different missing child’s appeal tweeted every 30 minutes for 24 hours. Last year the event generated 58,000 retweets of appeals and two of the children featured were found.