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Saturday, 16 December, 2000, 09:14 GMT
Fresh police appeal over missing girl
Michelle Tiernan (right) and a family friend staged a reconstruction
Missing girl's sister, Michelle (right), during the reconstruction
Police searching for a teenager missing since 26 November want help in pinpointing an ancient well near to where Leanne Tiernan was last seen.

Officers from West Yorkshire's police underwater search unit have already searched 32 drain shafts at Houghley Gill, near Bramley, Leeds, and are revisiting them this weekend in the hope of finding more clues.


It's a crucial part of the search

Detective Superintendent Chris Gregg
Detectives believe an ancient well could lie nearby and this has prompted their appeal for help in finding its exact location.

Sixteen-year-old Leanne has not been seen since she went missing near her home in Bramley, and various reported sightings have failed to yield any breakthroughs.

The hunt for her is now in its 20th day and Yorkshire Water experts have provided the police with maps of underground drainage systems in that part of Leeds.

Detective Superintendent Chris Gregg, who is leading the search, said it was important that the ancient well is found and checked out.

"It's been a crucial part of the search but it's extremely difficult and potentially dangerous," he said.

Police have conducted house-to-house inquiries at 955 addresses, more than 1,000 searches including 500 properties, as part of their investigations.

Leanne Tiernan
Leanne Tiernan: Has not gone missing before
A police reconstruction undertaken by Leanne's sister Michelle, 19, failed to yield any clues about her disappearance.

Leanne wore a navy blue casual woollen Ellesse jacket, black and cream ribbed polo neck jumper and black trousers and boots when she disappeared.

Her divorced parents, Michael Tiernan and Sharon Hawkhead, have both made emotional appeals for her return and say her disappearance is totally out of character.

Police, along with 200 Moorland rescue volunteers, has already searched the area in which she was last seen.

The hunt was also extended to include the River Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, with volunteers helping to search moorland between those waterways.

One problem facing searchers was that the area where Leanne was last seen features a very varied terrain, with more than 700 houses, canals, woodland, open areas, drainage shafts and wells.

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