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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Mystery Milly DNA link rejected
Milly Dowler
DNA was found on a coffee mug stolen from a Wearside church
Detectives investigating the murder of Surrey schoolgirl Amanda Dowler have ruled out any connection to a church where a mystery DNA link was discovered.

In January police made a DNA match between samples taken from a coffee cup found at St Paul's Church in Ryhope, Sunderland, and a stain on an item of clothing in the 13-year-old's bedroom.

Officers from Surrey visited the Ryhope area and took swabs from 55 men linked to the church, but none matched the DNA.

The sample was found when police visited the church after a break-in there in October 2002.

Through a national database the DNA was found to match the stain on a corset-style bodice belonging to Amanda.

This was something of a mystery that we though was probably just a coincidence
Surrey Police spokesman
On Friday, a Surrey Police spokesman, said: "We have now decided this line of inquiry is unlikely to be of further benefit to the investigation so it has been discontinued at this time.

"The line of inquiry was considered unusual from the outset and required explanation.

"This was something of a mystery that we thought was probably just a coincidence. It was always a very peripheral line of inquiry.

"But we have gone to every conceivable length to track down even the peripheral lines of inquiry."

It is thought Amanda, known as Milly, bought the top from the New Look store in Kingston, Surrey, but never wore the garment.

One idea is that the top was originally sold in Sunderland but was taken back to the shop and redistributed to the south of England.

Milly disappeared while walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on 21 March 2002.

Her remains were discovered in Yateley Heath Woods in Hampshire on 20 September, 2002.

Milly charity releases safety film
18 Jun 03  |  Southern Counties
Coffee mug clue to Milly murder
24 Mar 03  |  England
No match to Milly DNA
10 Feb 03  |  England
Milly police in DNA match
02 Feb 03  |  England

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