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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
Milly police 'increase profile'
Amanda Dowler
Milly has not been seen since 21 March
Officers investigating the disappearance of the Surrey schoolgirl Amanda Dowler are to make fresh appeals for information on Thursday.

Amanda, known as Milly, has not been seen since the afternoon of 21 March when she vanished on her way home from Walton-on-Thames railway station.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's police news conference, local MP Ian Taylor said officers hoped to "raise the profile" of the case.

His comments come after Surrey police were accused of down-grading their investigations which have seen little breakthrough since a suspect was released in July.

Ian Taylor MP
Ian Taylor says public help is vital to solving the case
Mr Taylor told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There are 60 officers working on this case and they've taken over 5,000 calls from the public which are still coming in.

"I think what they're trying to do is raise the profile of the case to a wider audience in case it reveals some evidence they haven't already got.

"The reason why they've got to keep going is that we don't know whether Milly's disappearance was because of something specific to her or because of a more general threat to young people in our community.

"One's got to remember that school has started again, therefore young children are coming back from school at around the same time that Milly disappeared."

'Intense interest'

Mr Taylor also expressed doubt that the publicity surrounding the deaths of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham had affected the Milly investigation.

He said: "The media certainly wouldn't have kept an intense six month interest as they did over that short period at Soham.

"But, nevertheless, we need help from the wider community if we're ever to get the bottom of this tragic disappearance.

"Therefore I'm sure the police are trying to reconnect the case now that it's in people's minds."

Thursday's news conference is due to take place at 1130 BST.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
MP for Esher and Walton, Ian Taylor
"They're still trying to pursue all sorts of leads"

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See also:

30 Jul 02 | England
17 Jul 02 | England
13 Jul 02 | England
12 Jul 02 | England
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