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The BBC's Steve Kingstone
"They are using RAF planes"
 real 28k

Monday, 17 July, 2000, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Missing Sarah: Hunt goes on
'Human remains' dogs scour woodland
Police dogs scour woodland
The family of missing eight-year-old Sarah Payne are taking a back seat in the hunt for her in a bid to gain some respite from the media spotlight.

As police continued to comb the countryside for the young girl, Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo said parents Michael and Sara Payne desperately needed "some time to themselves".

Sarah Payne
Sarah has been missing for over two weeks
There were no immediate plans for the family to make any more television appeals this week.

The Paynes are said to be distraught after Saturday's emotional broadcast on the beach at Littlehampton, West Sussex, the last place they were together with Sarah.

But Dave Edwards, a police spokesman, said they had still not given up hope.

"Sara has been very upbeat. She remains convinced that Sarah is out there somewhere.

"They are just a little punch-drunk by it all. They need to get out of the media spotlight."

The massive response to the appeals, which has generated more than 20,000 calls, has been slightly counter-productive, with many bringing no hard information.

Mr Yeo said: "The danger of the massive public response to Sara's appeals is it produces a lot of information that does not have any relevance, like random sighting of white vans.

Target area

"I would encourage the public to call in if they saw one in Kingston Gorse the weekend Sarah disappeared. If they saw one in Dartford, Kent, we can probably manage without it, if there's no link to the inquiry."

Sara and Michael Payne
Her parents remain convinced she is still alive
Dozens of officers are carrying out targeted searches, sweeping a "corridor" north from Worthing along the A24, past Horsham and Crawley towards the M25 and London.

Six Metropolitan Police human remains dogs and their handlers have been concentrating on a woodland spot south of Crawley.

The inquiry team are launch an extended search of rural north Sussex using aerial photographs taken by an RAF Jaguar to form an up-to-date map of the area.

Police will knock on doors, "farm to farm", and act on information received in response to a leafleting campaign.

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