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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 22:02 GMT
Video hope for missing girl
Amanda Dowler
Amanda is a talented musician say her teachers
The family of missing schoolgirl Amanda Dowler has released home videos of her in the hope that someone may recall seeing her.

Footage shows the 13-year-old ironing and playing the saxophone at home shortly before Christmas.

Amanda, also known as "Milly", went missing from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on Thursday afternoon.

A massive search involving more than 100 police officers and dozens of volunteers was continuing on Monday.

Amanda Dowler
Amanda is nicknamed "Milly"

The home videos were released through Surrey Police with the backing of Amanda's parents, Sally and Robert Dowler.

They have said the thought that she might be found alive was all that was keeping them going.

Police interviewed passengers at Walton-on-Thames station on Monday.

It is hoped regular travellers may have seen the schoolgirl as she made her way home from school on Thursday.

The headteacher of the teenager's school has said the community was "in limbo" waiting for news on her whereabouts.

Popular pupil

Glyn Willoughby, principal at Heathside School in Weybridge, Surrey, said the community was working together to try to find the teenager.

He said: "Her mother works here and our families are close personal friends.

"My two daughters are at this school and our two families have been on holiday together.

She is a bright, intelligent, witty, loving, daughter

Robert Dowler
"So on all fronts everyone is wanting to do whatever is possible. We just want her back safe and well."

He described her as a "bright, cheerful, kind and extremely popular girl".

Speaking on Sunday, Amanda's parents said they had no idea what had happened to her.

Amanda got off the train from school at Walton -on-Thames to visit a cafe with friends.

She phoned her father to say she was on her way home.

River search

Police have searched nearby streets, fields and railway tracks between the station at Walton-on-Thames and Amanda's home in Hersham one mile away.

Shallow sections of the River Mole in Hersham were also searched by marine teams.

Amanda was last seen walking along Station Approach towards Rydens Road.

Robert and Sally Dowler
Her parents have made a number of appeals
The teenager is described as 5ft 5in tall, slim and with shoulder-length light brown hair.

She was wearing her school uniform of a dark blue blazer, grey skirt and white shirt and was carrying a beige rucksack.

Mr Dowler described how she had told him she would be home in half an hour.

"She is a bright, intelligent, witty, loving, daughter.

"She is lovely - we have no idea what has happened to her - millions of conjectures but no idea."

The search for Amanda has involved house-to-house inquiries, police dogs and a helicopter.

Trees and phone boxes on Amanda's route home have been covered with posters appealing for information about her disappearance.

Mrs Dowler, who teaches maths at Heathside School, said Amanda's 16-year-old sister, Gemma, was "very worried," and was "trying to keep busy making posters and banners".

The BBC's Ben Brown reports from Surrey
"Police admit they have few clues"
Superintendent Alan Sharp, Surrey Police
"We expect that she may still be alive and well"

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See also:

25 Mar 02 | England
Massive search for missing girl
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