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Friday, 29 March, 2002, 17:50 GMT
Amanda police rule out purse 'clue'
Reconstruction, actress playing Amanda Dowler is in centre
The reconstruction showed Amanda's route home
Police looking for the missing schoolgirl Amanda Dowler say a white purse found near where she disappeared did not belong to her.

The purse - found by a member of the public and reported to Crimewatch - was ruled out as a possible vital clue after officers spoke to the teenager's parents.

Officers are still following up a number of possible leads from more than 250 phone calls to the BBC One programme, which showed a reconstruction of Amanda's last known movements.

The 13-year-old, known as Milly, disappeared on Thursday last week as she walked from the railway station near her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

Milly's parents talking on Crimewatch
Milly's parents appealed for a "signal"
Pop idol winner Will Young made an appeal to the missing teenager to get in touch with her family, before he appeared on stage at Sheffield Arena on Friday evening.

He said: "Milly, you are not in trouble, your family and friends love you very much, and you are greatly missed.

"If you are watching, please simply call a friend or any family member to let them know you are safe.

"We are appealing to anyone with any information, no matter how trivial you may think it is, it may make all the difference."

A Surrey Police spokeswoman said Amanda was a huge fan of the Pop Idol programme, and had attended a concert featuring the finalists on the Tuesday before she went missing.

Detectives were still continuing a search of the teenager's home early on Friday evening.

'Enormous grief'

A police spokesman said: "We are looking for anything that may give us a clearer idea of what sort of person she was, what she had been doing, and where she might have gone."

Amanda's parents Bob and Sally told Crimewatch on Thursday they feared their daughter had been abducted and pleaded with her kidnapper to give them a sign if the "worst" had happened.

Milly's last movements
Click here for a larger map of what happened
Enlarge image Enlarge image

Speaking on her 43rd birthday Mrs Dowler appealed to anyone who had taken her.

She said: "You can't believe the enormous grief it's caused the family, her friends and everybody that knows her.

"It's been absolutely awful, we're absolutely devastated. Please give her back to us."

And asked by presenter Nick Ross for her reaction in the event of the worst possible scenario, she pleaded for "some sort of signal what has happened so that we know and can move on?"

Police said they were very encouraged by the number of calls from people in the area around Walton-on-Thames.

Many were from motorists who were driving through the area between 1600 GMT and 1700 GMT on Thursday of last week - around the time when Amanda was last seen.

Amanda's missing belongings
Nokia 32-10 mobile phone with a silver face, blue back with Milly written on it
Beige rucksack
Pencil case
White purse
Pendant with a fairy on it and two silver rings
Black hair scrunchy

Mr Sharp said: "I am extremely pleased, as are the family, that there have been so many calls.

"Many of them were potential sightings of a young girl fitting Amanda's description in the Station Avenue area.

"There is no clear indication from the calls that she has been forcibly abducted, though we are looking at every possibility."

He denied press reports linking Amanda's disappearance with other missing girls, saying there was "nothing" that links her case with any other.

And he stressed that at no point had any members of the family been suspects in the investigation.

The BBC's Clarence Mitchell
"The police hunt for her appears as wide open as ever"
Pop Idol Will Young
"Milly, if you are watching please phone a friend or family member just to let them know you are safe"

Click here for more from Southern Counties
See also:

28 Mar 02 | England
TV appeal for missing Amanda
27 Mar 02 | England
Parents fear Amanda was abducted
27 Mar 02 | England
Aerial search for missing girl
26 Mar 02 | England
CCTV appeal for missing girl
25 Mar 02 | England
Video hope for missing girl
25 Mar 02 | England
Massive search for missing girl
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