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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Timeline: Milly Dowler
Amanda Dowler
Amanda Dowler has been missing since March
Surrey teenager Amanda Dowler was last seen on 21 March 2002. BBC News Online charts a timeline of events since the 13-year-old's disappearance.

21 March: Amanda Dowler is last seen walking home from the railway station at nearby Walton-on-Thames.

The 13-year-old leaves Heathside School in Weybridge and catches a train, then visits a cafe at Walton-on-Thames railway station.

She calls her father on a friend's mobile at 3.47pm and sets off towards her house 18 minutes later. She never arrives.

23 March: Sally Dowler, a teacher and her husband Robert, an IT consultant, make an emotional plea for their daughter to return home.

Police launch a massive hunt involving 50 police officers and dogs.

25 March: Amanda's family release home videos of her in the hope that someone may recall seeing her.

26 March: BBC's Crimewatch UK programme films a reconstruction of Milly's last known movements.

27 March: Amanda's parents appeal for help in finding her and admit they fear she has been abducted.

Amanda and Gemma Dowler
Gemma Dowler says she misses her sister
28 March: A reconstruction of Amanda's last known movements is screened on BBC One's Crimewatch programme.

30 March: Detectives from the Sarah Payne investigation help in the hunt for Amanda.

Police believe she could have gone off with someone she knew, as any struggle would have been seen by passers-by.

31 March: Gemma Dowler, 16, is too upset to speak publicly about her grief, so she makes an appeal for her sister's safe return in an open letter.

1 April: The inquiry team investigating Amanda's disappearance is extended to 100 officers.

3 April: Amanda's school friends appeal for her safe return.

5 April: Huge photos of Amanda are put on the sides of lorries in the hope they will jog memories.

10 April: Gemma Dowler speaks publicly for the first time about her sister's disappearance in an interview with BBC Newsround.

Amanda Dowler and Hannah MacDonald
Amanda's friends have appealed for information
11 April: The internet is used in the hunt for Amanda, with UK internet sites showing visitors a pop-up window asking for information about her.

14 April: Amanda's godmother Sarah Ford appeals for help in finding her.

20 April: Football fans are given leaflets appealing for help in tracing Amanda.

22 April: Detectives release parts of Amanda's diary in the hope the pages will make her or anyone who may be holding her contact them or her family.

23 April: The body of a woman is found in the River Thames, two miles from where Amanda went missing.

24 April: Police confirm the body is not that of Amanda.

4 May: A national newspaper offers a 100,000 reward for information which helps find the missing schoolgirl.

6 May: Police searching woodland near Amanda's home in Surrey draw a blank.

16 May: A 36-year-old man is arrested in Chertsey and is questioned in a Surrey police station but later released without charge.

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

13 June: A 52-year-old man from Ashford, Middlesex, is questioned by police but is later released without charge.

22 June: Police tell the parents of Amanda Dowler that she is probably dead.

22 June: Detectives reveal they have discussed Amanda's case with police investigating the disappearance of two women in west London.

25 June: On Amanda's 14th birthday, her parents say they have been texting her mobile phone since she went missing.

12 July: Potentially crucial CCTV footage from the Bird's Eye building near the train station in Walton-on-Thames is sent to the US for examination by the FBI.

Officers admit it is highly likely Milly has been the victim of a "chance abduction", although no witnesses have reported seeing a struggle.

29 July: Police arrest a 47-year-old man in connection with Milly's disappearance.

30 July: The man is released on police bail.

12 September: The FBI believe film from the CCTV camera, obscured by sunlight, reveals a figure which detectives believe may be Amanda, standing near a dark-coloured saloon.

Police appeal for the driver of the car to come forward.

20 September: Police investigating Amanda's disappearance visit a site in Hampshire where human remains are found.

On the eve of the six-month anniversary since her disappearance, the Dowlers say they now believe Amanda was murdered.

At 5pm police announce that the remains have been identified, by dental records, as those of Milly. The case is reclassified from a missing person to murder case.

15 October: Police appeal for witnesses who saw two men with a schoolgirl in a field close to where Milly's remains were found.

That sighting was around one hour after she went missing 20 miles away in Walton-on-Thames.

The field was about 300 yards north of where the schoolgirl's remains were found in Yateley Heat Forest, near Fleet.


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