Bellfield likely to be interviewed over Milly Dowler murder

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Detectives investigating the murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler are likely to interview prime suspect Levi Bellfield about new evidence.

A dossier naming the convicted killer as the man responsible for her death will be passed to prosecution solicitors within a week.

It contains compelling fresh evidence detectives hope will provide the breakthrough to link the killer to the 13-year-old's death.

But Surrey Police detectives believe they may have to formally interview Bellfield before a decision is made to charge him.

They have amassed five files outlining a huge amount of circumstantial evidence tying him to Milly's murder.

Sources close to the inquiry said the new evidence, which cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, emerged last December.

Amanda Dowler, known to her family and friends as Milly, vanished while walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames on 21 March, 2002.

Six months later her skeletal remains were found 30 miles away by mushroom pickers in Yateley Heath, Hampshire.

Officers have been painstakingly building a case against Bellfield since he was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in November 2004 over other matters.

Bellfield, 41, was told last year that he would die in jail after he was found guilty of murdering students Marsha McDonnell, 19, and Amelie Delagrange, 22.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of schoolgirl Kate Sheedy, 18. All of the women were attacked near bus stops in south-west London.

The former nightclub bouncer and wheelclamper was arrested and interviewed over Milly's death four years ago but refused to comment.

Once they have the file of evidence, officials at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) must decide whether to charge him.

They must also examine whether there is a realistic prospect Bellfield would be convicted of the murder, and whether it is in the public interest to try a man who is already serving a whole life tariff.

Sally and Bob Dowler, Milly's parents, have been told of the latest developments in the inquiry.

The new evidence is not linked to the arrest and interview of west London scrap dealer Nirmal Gharu on 4 August.

Police continue to search for a red Daewoo Nexia car they believe was used to transport Milly's body from Walton-on-Thames.

The car was captured on CCTV minutes after Milly disappeared and Bellfield has since admitted driving it.

The distinctive car was owned by Bellfield's girlfriend at the time, Emma Mills, who lived in Walton-on-Thames.

She reported it missing from the car park of a pub in Hounslow, west London, several days later and it has not been seen since.

Detectives believe it may still contain key forensic evidence linking Bellfield to the murder.

In their hunt for the car, police searched 35 miles of waterways and 40 other water sites, including reservoirs and lakes in Surrey and neighbouring counties.

Detectives believe it is likely one of Bellfield's many contacts in the motor trade arranged for it to be crushed by a scrap dealer.