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Saturday, 21 September, 2002, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Milly police seek fresh clues
Police road block at the site near Yateley Heath, Minley, near Fleet in Hampshire
Specialist police have been searching the site
Police have launched a fresh appeal for witnesses in the wooded area where the remains of teenager Amanda Dowler were found.

None of the clothes and possessions belonging to Amanda, known as Milly to family and friends, have been recovered and on Saturday police renewed their appeal to the public to find them.

Detective Chief Superintendent Craig Denholm, who is leading the inquiry for Surrey Police, said the discovery on Friday of the skeletal remains had been "extremely distressing" for Milly's parents.

Milly Dowler
It is six months since Milly's disappearance

He urged anyone who had seen anything suspicious on 21 March or the following days at Yateley Heath Forest near Fleet in Hampshire - where the body was found - to contact police.

"Can you remember seeing anything unusual?" he asked the public.

"Can you remember seeing a teenager who matched the description of Milly?"

He listed the 13-year-old's missing clothes: a short, grey skirt, a blue jumper, a blue school blazer, a school tie, a white shirt, black shoes.

Fingertip search

Her beige rucksack, white purse with a red heart and Nokia 3210 grey and blue mobile phone with 'Milly' written on the back have also not been recovered.

Mr Denholm said a fingertip search of the woodland was continuing and house to house inquiries in the area had begun.

The area, which is popular with joggers, horse-riders, families and bikers, has been closed off half a mile in every direction from where the remains were discovered, about 25 miles from Milly's home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.


We are still totally committed to finding out what has taken place

DCS Craig Denholm, Surrey police

Laboratory tests will be carried out on material recovered from the scene which may reveal fibres or DNA samples from the killer.

Amanda disappeared as she walked home from Walton-on-Thames railway station, exactly six months ago on Sunday.

Ian Taylor, Milly's parents' local Tory MP, said he hoped the discovery of the body would help Milly's parents to move on.

"This is an appalling mystery," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"We must now hope the police can get some forensic information from the scene of the crime which helps them put the pieces of the jigsaw together."

Children place flowers near the police road block, Yateley Heath, Hampshire
Throughout the day people came to lay flowers

During the investigation, which is thought to have cost more than 1m, police arrested three men, but none was charged.

A 36-year-old man was arrested in May in Chertsey, about three miles from the teenager's home but he was released the next day.

In June, a 52-year-old man was detained but also released.

Then in July a 47-year-old man from Walton-on-Thames was held, but he was released without charge.

Frustration

In their hunt for Milly, detectives searched more than 350 sites, including 40 underwater.

A total of 50km of waterways were searched.

Milly's body was found in Yateley Heath Forest near Fleet in Hampshire

More than 5,500 calls have so far been received from the public, 1,850 statements taken and 3,500 house-to-house inquiries made.

On Sunday, special prayers will be said for Milly during a service at St Mary's Church in her home town.

The Reverend Canon Timothy Sedgley also said a candle would be lit in Milly's memory - the same candle first lit six months ago as the community prayed for her safe return.

  • Anyone with information can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111
  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Clarence Mitchell
    "The police search for further evidence has intensified"
    Conservative MP Ian Taylor
    "This is an appalling mystery"

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