Amanda's parents appeal to abductor

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The Independent Online

The parents of the missing schoolgirl Amanda Dowler admitted yesterday that she had probably been abducted after a huge hunt had failed to find any sign of her.

At a tearful press conference yesterday, six days after her disappearance, her father, Robert Dowler, said the "only logical explanation" was that she had been snatched. "It's the thing I don't want to think or believe," he said.

Mr Dowler, an IT consultant, made a joint appeal with his wife, Sally, 42, to urge anyone with information to come forward. Amanda – known as Milly – was last seen walking home from the train station in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Dowler appealed directly to anyone who might have abducted his 13-year-old daughter to release her. "I hope to God if that person is listening or watching, they will find it within themselves to look at us and give her back so she can be back within the family," she said. He admitted that it appeared increasingly likely that Amanda had not simply run away. "There are a number of possible options, but none seem to lead to any sensible conclusion," he said.

Mrs Dowler, a maths teacher, said: "I can't rest because I can't think what's happened to her. I have to blank it off and focus on making posters or anything that will help us get her back."

The couple have telephoned Amanda's mobile phone, left messages and sent text messages, but have had no reply.

Mrs Dowler said Amanda's sister Gemma, 16, was making posters to help with the appeal. She added: "She is convinced Amanda is coming back to us and that we will see her again soon and have a big party when she comes home."