Saturday, October 15, 2011

Surrey Police makes new appeal in hunt for missing schoolgirl Amanda Dowler

Submitted: 12/09/2002 15:34:14

Surrey Police are making a fresh appeal for the public to help with their enquiries following the release of new CCTV footage from the location Amanda (Milly) Dowler was last seen on 21 March 2002.
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The footage, released today, shows a dark coloured saloon driving down Station Avenue towards Walton train station. The car stops by the kerbside and a pedestrian appears to be talking to the driver of the car. This sequence of event takes place at approximately 4.15pm, just minutes after the last sighting of Milly.
Surrey Police are requesting the driver of the car and the pedestrian to contact them as they may have valuable information to help the enquiry. They are also interested in talking to anyone who may have entered or left Walton station car park on 21 March between approximately 4.05pm and 4.20pm.
Surrey Police need to eliminate the possibility that the pedestrian talking to the driver of the car could be Milly. The last sighting of Milly was at 4.08pm by a school colleague waiting to catch the bus. If the pedestrian is Milly then it throws up many more questions such as why did Milly retrace her steps and did she know the person in the car?
Extensive work has been undertaken to analyse Milly’s mobile phone and computer usage and there is nothing to indicate she had planned to meet anyone that afternoon.
Detectives believe the most likely scenario is that Milly was the victim of chance abductor. This would be an extremely rare event and no incidents have been identified either before Milly went missing or subsequently, that clearly link.
The disappearance of Milly is a very unusual case for police, with no witness, no body, no scene and no significant suspect on which to focus investigations. We have done a considerable amount of work, and employed many experts. Over 350 sites have been searched in the hunt for Milly, including over 50 kilometres of water. Around 1,850 statements have been taken and house to house enquiries have been conducted at more than 3,500 premises.
The CCTV footage from a nearby business premises has been constantly examined and re-examined and has been crucial to the investigation. This footage is a key piece of evidence showing what was going on in the road at that time, although the quality of it is variable. This CCTV tape has been sent to five leading specialist laboratories in the UK before sending it to the FBI. Following extensive and painstaking work the FBI has improved the quality of the tape enough to reveal these new images.
Detective Chief Superintendent Craig Denholm, the officer in charge of the investigation, said:

“This has been a complex and unique enquiry. We remain committed to establishing what has happened to Milly. We have received a high level of public support throughout and are once again asking for their help in solving this mystery. I appeal to those people on the CCTV footage or anyone who may have seen them on 21 March to contact us on