Man, 30, charged with murdering Kayleigh, 9

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The Independent Online
A man was charged yesterday with the murder and rape of Kayleigh Ward, the "street-wise" nine-year-old who disappeared after going to buy some chips.

Meanwhile, in an unconnected case, the body of a second child, believed to be that of missing nine-year-old Zoe Evans, was found in Wiltshire.

John O'Shaughnessy, 30, from Blacon, Chester, is to appear before Chester magistrates today charged with Kayleigh's murder. Her body was found in the river Dee just over the Welsh border from her home in Chester by a man walking his dog on Tuesday.

A Home Office pathologist who examined the body concluded she had been strangled before being put into the river.

The discovery ended a police search that began when Kayleigh, who was described as "street-wise", went missing on 19 December after setting off from her hostel home. Her body was identified by her mother Yvonne Ward, 36.

Police in Wiltshire are preparing for a fingertip search today of a bronze- age campsite at Battlesbury Hill, Warminster, after the discovery yesterday of what is believed to be the body of Zoe Evans, who vanished from her Army married quarters home on 11 January. The body was found by officers working on the edge of the wooded hill - a 200ft high bronze-age campsite and local beauty spot.

The area was cordoned off and a nearby military road closed to traffic. The area is on military land and less than a mile from Zoe's home near Warminster Barracks. A footpath links the hill to the married quarters and it is understood it was previously searched by police.

Her stepfather, Private Miles Evans, 23, a driver with the Royal Logistics Corps, is in custody charged with her murder. He is due to make a further remand court appearance at Trowbridge later this month.

Zoe lived with her stepfather, her mother Paula, 28, and her brother Glenn, seven. She was last seen at a local supermarket.

Less than a week after her disappearance police found two items of bloodstained clothing.

A post-mortem examination on the body was expected to be carried out last night.