Police involved in Shannon Matthews abduction investigation join hunt for missing Tia
Kidnap experts drafted in to search for girl
A POLICE team of abduction experts were today helping in the search for missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp.
Officers involved in investigating the abduction of Shannon Matthews have been drafted in to help trace the 12-year-old, Scotland Yard confirmed today.
Tia has never run away before but vanished without a trace on Friday afternoon after telling relatives she was going shopping at the Whitgift Centre in Croydon.
Scotland Yard said officers from West Yorkshire Police have been drafted in for their expertise in abduction cases, in particular the disappearance of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews, who was abducted by her mother and her partner’s uncle in February 2008.
Karen Matthews and her accomplice Michael Donovan, from Dewsbury, were convicted in December 2008 of her abduction, which they committed in a plan to claim £50,000 in reward money.
A police spokesman said: “As is routine we liaise with all forces that have dealt with similar cases. This case is like the Shannon Matthews case. This is a missing persons case and we are putting all our resources into finding her.”
Tia is thought to have been last seen at the house where her grandmother Christine Sharp, 46, lives with partner Stuart Hazell, 37, at The Lindens in New Addington, south-east London.
Mr Hazell, thought to be one of the last people to see Tia, was questioned by police as a witness for more than two hours yesterday before returning home.
Meanwhile, officers were searching bins outside Tia’s grandmother’s house today as the hunt for the missing schoolgirl continued.