Milly Dowler father 'one of 54 quizzed'

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The Independent Online

Milly Dowler's father was one of 54 suspects investigated by police following her murder, the Old Bailey heard today.

Bob Dowler came under questioning along with prime suspect Levi Bellfield, the jury was told.

Other suspects included a man with a white van who had visited Yateley Heath wood where the body of the 13-year-old was found six months after disappearing in 2002.

It was not until Bellfield's arrest for other murders in 2004, that the connection was made between him and a flat in Collingwood Place, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

Bellfield had been living there with his family and it was just feet away from where Milly was last seen walking home from school in Station Avenue.

Police knocked 11 times on his door during house-to-house inquiries, but got no reply.

The prosecution alleges Bellfield moved out in a hurry following Milly's murder.

In agreed facts read to the court, the jury was told: "The occupants of flat 24 were neither seen or identified during 11 separate visits.

"No inquiries were made with estate agents in order to trace those occupants."

Detective Sergeant Tim Barrett later told the court that the occupants of all 52 flats, and people living in the area, were interviewed but were not implicated.

The prosecution alleges Bellfield abducted Milly off the street and killed her in the flat before dumping her body 25 miles away.

Bellfield, 43, denies kidnap and murder, and attempting to kidnap 11-year-old Rachel Cowles, the day before.

The former wheelclamper and bouncer, was convicted in 2008 of the murders of Marsha McDonnell, 19, in 2003, and Amelie Delagrange, 22, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, 18, in 2004.

The prosecution closed its case today and the trial was adjourned to Thursday.