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The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"The police incident room will be staffed over Christmas, in case there is a sighting"
 real 56k

Thursday, 21 December, 2000, 13:40 GMT
Tearful appeal for missing daughter
Sharon Hawkhead
Leanne Tiernan's mother made an emotional appeal for help
The mother of a girl who disappeared on 26 November has made a tearful appeal for help in finding her.

"I want my daughter home for Christmas," Sharon Hawkhead said of missing 16-year-old Leanne Tiernan.

Leanne was last seen returning home with a friend to Bramley from a shopping trip in Leeds.

Police have released an e-fit of a man spotted walking his dog in the Hughley Gill area one hour before Leanne got off the bus on her journey home.

E-fit of man
E-fit: Police want to question this man
The man is described as being 5ft8ins and of stocky build with a round, reddish face that may possibly be scarred.

He was wearing a black woollen hat, a three-quarter-length waterproof jacket and dirty jeans.

The e-fit's release follows a reconstruction of Leanne's last known movements and a massive search involving police dogs, divers, moorland search teams and a helicopter.

Leanne's mother said on Thursday that she believed her daughter would have been in touch by now had she been able.

"If somebody has her against her will, for God's sake, let her go," said Ms Hawkhead, 39.

She also renewed her appeal for potential eyewitnesses to come forward.

Leanne's sister, Michelle, and, right, her mother, Sharon
Renewed family appeal for help
"You might think the information is irrelevant but it could provide a vital clue," she said.

Ms Hawkhead revealed that Leanne's Christmas presents were waiting for her at the family home.

Fighting back tears, she said: "The last 25 days have been dreadful. I've lurched from despair to hysteria but I know we have got to keep going.

"I've bought her a few presents, but there is no tree and no decorations. We just can't bring ourselves to celebrate this year."

Massive police hunt

Police have conducted house-to-house inquiries at 955 addresses and carried out more than 1,000 searches as part of their investigations.

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.

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

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