Silent despair over Laura

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The Independent Online
FAMILY AND neighbours ofnine-year-old Laura Kane gathered for an emotional church service yesterday as a local man was being questioned by police after a child's body was found at the weekend.

Around 30 villagers from Penshaw, on the outskirts of Sunderland, sat in silence at The Parish of All Saints Church, as the Rev Michael Beck likened the feelings of despair in the small community to those felt when Diana, Princess of Wales, died two years ago.

The community had not given up hope that the nine-day search for Laura would end happily. But on Saturday police found the body of a child fitting Laura's description.

The body was found in Murton, County Durham. Colin Bainbridge, a self- employed electrician, was arrested. Mr Bainbridge had been working in Laura's house when she went missing after saying she was going to play with a friend.

A post-mortem examination has been carried out but the police have not yet announced the cause of death, Laura's parents have left the area and are staying with relatives.