Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 11:41 UK

Timeline: Milly Dowler

Milly Dowler
Milly Dowler, 13, went missing on her way home from school

Former bouncer Levi Bellfield has been charged with the murder of 13-year-old Milly Dowler.

The Surrey teenager disappeared while walking home from school on 21 March 2002.

Her remains were discovered six months later on 20 September at Yateley Heath, Hampshire, 30 miles from her home.

Here is a timeline of events surrounding the case.

21 March 2002

Milly Dowler is last seen walking home from the railway station at Walton-on-Thames after leaving Heathside School in Weybridge.

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

23 March 2002

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 2002

Milly's family release home videos of her in the hope that somebody may recall seeing her.

26 March 2002

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

27 March 2002

Milly's parents appeal for help in finding their daughter and admit they fear she has been abducted.

31 March 2002

Milly's older sister Gemma Dowler, then 16, makes an appeal for her safe return in an open letter.

1 April 2002

The inquiry team investigating Milly's disappearance is extended to 100 officers.

5 April 2002

Huge photos of Milly are put on the sides of lorries in an effort to jog people's memories.

10 April 2002

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

22 April 2002

Detectives release parts of Milly's diary in the hope the pages will make her or anyone holding her contact police or her family.

23 April 2002

The body of a woman is found in the River Thames, two miles from where Milly went missing. The next day police confirm the body is not that of Milly.

4 May 2002

A national newspaper offers a £100,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of the missing schoolgirl.

16 May 2002

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

13 June 2002

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

22 June 2002

Police tell the parents of Milly Dowler that she is probably dead.

22 June 2002

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

29 July 2002

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

30 July 2002

The man is released on police bail.

20 September 2002

Police investigating Milly's disappearance visit a site in Hampshire where human remains are found.

On the eve of the six month anniversary of her disappearance, the Dowlers say they now believe Milly 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 a murder case.

8 October 2002

Milly's family launch Milly's Fund - a charity aimed at promoting personal safety for young people.

21 March 2003

Surrey Police and the Crimestoppers charity offer a £50,000 reward for information leading them to Milly's killer.

25 April 2005

Police appeal for information about a red Daewoo Nexia car filmed on CCTV close to where Milly was last seen. They say the inquiries result from a "recent development" but refuse to give further details.

19 August 2009

Police confirm that a dossier of evidence will be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) within seven days. News emerges of fresh evidence in the case.

26 August 2009

The police files are handed to prosecutors at the CPS's complex case unit.

6 October 2009

Underwater divers search a fishing lake at Bedfont Lakes Country Park, in the shadow of Heathrow Airport, for the missing Daewoo Nexia.

30 March 2010

The CPS announces Levi Bellfield will go on trial accused of Milly Dowler's murder.



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Man charged with Dowler murder
30 Mar 10 |  England

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