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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 16:17 GMT
Police end search of death house
A police officer searches the front of the house
Police have spent two weeks searching the house in Irvine drive
Police have finished their search of a house in Margate where the bodies of two teenagers were found.

The council-owned property at 50 Irvine Drive has been boarded up pending the next phase of the investigation, Essex Police said.

The bodies of Vicky Hamilton, 15, from near Falkirk, and Dinah McNicol, 18, from Essex, were found there last week.

Peter Tobin, 61, has been charged in Scotland with the murder of Vicky and remanded in custody.

Assistant chief constable Peter Lowton said a complete search and forensic examination of the property had taken place.

'Support and patience'

"The task now is to assess the evidence and build a case against the person, or people, responsible," he said.

"We are very aware that our activity in Irvine Drive has had a big impact on the local community and particularly the family who have moved out of the house so willingly to enable us to progress our investigation, as well as those families in the neighbouring homes.

"I wish to reiterate our gratitude for their cooperation, support and patience throughout."

He also thanked Kent Police, the other forces, experts and specialists teams that had helped the investigation.

Dinah McNicol (l) and Vicky Hamilton
Dinah McNicol (l) and Vicky Hamilton both disappeared in 1991

Nicola Downing and her family, who have lived at the house since 1995, said they would not return and they have been re-housed by Thanet District Council.

A Thanet District Council spokeswoman said on Thursday that a decision on the fate of the house in Irvine Drive could take months.

Vicky Hamilton was last seen in Bathgate, West Lothian, in 1991, while Dinah McNicol failed to return home to Tillingham in Essex from a trip to Hampshire, in the same year.

Mr Tobin was committed for trial, in his absence, at Linlithgow Sheriff Court on Friday.

He missed the original scheduled hearing on Thursday following the assault on Wednesday evening.

An investigation into the incident is under way, and a man has been charged in connection with the assault.

The fathers of Vicky and Dinah said on Friday they wanted to meet.

Ian McNicol said he and Vicky's father, Michael, had "so much in common".



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