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The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"Officers are being cautious about the importance of the new finding"
 real 28k

Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK
Forensic tests on 'Sarah dress'
Police road checks
Road checks brought up several new lines of inquiry
Police have said it could take two weeks to learn if a piece of cloth found in West Sussex is part of murdered Sarah Payne's dress.

The scrap of blue material was found on Sunday in the grounds of Bramber castle, a few miles south-east of Pulborough where Sarah's body was discovered.

The cloth has been sent to experts at the Forensic Science Service laboratories in London for examination.

Sussex police spokesman Nick Sandford said the results would take between two days and two weeks to reach detectives on the inquiry team.

DNA tests on the find should be able to show if the clothes were Sarah's and checks for any foreign fibres could help track down her killer.

Policeman with clothes similar to Sarah's
Sarah was last seen wearing a blue sports dress and black shoes
But a part of a shoe found by a member of the public last week has been ruled out as not belonging to the missing girl.

Sarah was wearing a blue sports dress and black shoes when she disappeared on 1 July.

Detectives have been following up several possible leads after they questioned more than 2,000 motorists on a stretch of the A29.

"There are no definite leads from the stop checks but what I can say is that there are a number of inquiries which are being followed up for research and confirmation purposes," Mr Sandford said.

The police set up a 16-hour roadblock on Saturday evening on the A29 - exactly three weeks after Sarah disappeared.


There are a number of inquiries which are being followed up for research and confirmation purposes

Nick Sandford
Police spokesman
An estimated 2,000 motorists were stopped and questioned at the spot near Pulborough in West Sussex where Sarah's naked body was found dumped in a field last Monday.

The police hunt also extended to golf courses, cafes and car boot sales on Sunday in an effort to find crucial witnesses.

Police have also renewed their appeal for information about a white van seen in the area when Sarah disappeared on 1 July.

As the hunt for clues and witnesses continues, the eight-year-old girl has been remembered in church services.

Sarah Payne
Sarah was remembered in church services around the country
At St Mary's church in East Preston Canon Bryan Marshall asked the congregation to remember the Payne family in their prayers.

Floral tributes, messages and toys have continued to pile up alongside the A29 next to the spot where Sarah's body was found.

Public interest and concern for the inquiry remains strong and detectives say 2,000 people a day continue to contact them to offer information.

The murder investigation continues to involve police forces across the UK to look at any possible links between other abductions and similar offences.

Hampshire Police notified the inquiry team following the attempted abduction a young girl in the county 13 days after Sarah disappeared.

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See also:

22 Jul 00 | UK
Sarah search claim dropped
20 Jul 00 | UK
Police examine Sarah 'shoe'
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