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Shannon police at uncle's house

26 February 08 14:33 GMT

Police have conducted a "routine" search of a house belonging to the uncle of missing West Yorkshire schoolgirl Shannon Matthews.

The house, in Moorside Road, Dewsbury Moor, which adjoins Shannon's, belongs to Neil Hyett and his wife Amanda.

With white masks covering their mouths, officers rummaged through rubbish in the garden and looked through items in the kitchen and living room.

Shannon failed to return home from Westmoor Junior School a week ago.

Officers spent around 50 minutes in the property before leaving.

West Yorkshire Police said the searches were routine.

Map of key locations

Officers have searched more than 200 homes within half a mile of the family home and have received more than 300 calls about the schoolgirl.

They say they have not given up hope of finding the nine-year-old alive.

Specialist divers have searched a pond, along with sewers and drains in the hunt for any trace of her.

On Monday, about 50 specialist officers were drafted in to search through bins on all routes between Shannon's school and her home.

Candle-lit vigil

Ch Supt Barry South said: "I think the size of the search, the extent of what we're doing, the resources going in - we're not going to lose hope.

"My priority has been the same right from the outset - we are doing our best to locate Shannon safe and well."

Shannon is described as timid, about 4ft 1in, with shoulder-length hair that may have been tied in a ponytail.

She was last seen leaving Dewsbury Sports Centre where CCTV footage showed her wearing distinctive pink Bratz boots.

Friends and neighbours of Shannon are to hold a vigil later to mark one week since she disappeared.

They will walk with colourful balloons from the local community centre in Dewsbury Moor to Shannon's home.

A banner strung across the house in Moorside Road will urge the nine-year-old to come home.

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