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Tuesday, 18 July, 2000, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Picture Gallery: The search for Sarah
The search for Sarah Payne lasted for more than two weeks and involved her parents Sara and Michael from the first day.


Within a day of Sarah having gone missing police officers had been brought in off leave to join the hunt. Many local people had already heeded the call for help and were combing the area near where she vanished.


Police initially concentrated on a small area and over the two week period officers spent long hours questioning motorists, looking for clues to the schoolgirl's whereabouts.


Police divers searched in rivers and streams as the operation grew in size.


Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo of Sussex Police devoted hundreds of officers to the case.


And as part of a massive media operation, Sarah's distraught family willingly made appeal after appeal before the nation's media.


By the second week of the search the RAF volunteered this jet to help spot potential areas to search.


However, on Monday 17 July, everyone's worst fears were confirmed when the body of a child was discovered in a field - just outside the area of the main search. The body was confirmed as that of Sarah Payne the following day.


Soon afterwards, an anonymous member of the public left the first flowers at the scene of the discovery. Later, Sarah's parents privately visited the scene.


Sarah (right) with her younger sister Charlotte.

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