New evidence in Milly Dowler murder case

Detectives investigating the murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler have obtained dramatic new evidence, sources said today.

Officers will submit a huge dossier of evidence against prime suspect Levi Bellfield to prosecutors within a week.

The convicted killer is suspected of murdering 13-year-old Milly in Walton-on-Thames in March 2002.



The death of Amanda Dowler, known to her family and friends as Milly, remains one of Britain's most notorious unsolved crimes.

She vanished while walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on March 21, 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 will 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.

Officers believe they have compelling circumstantial evidence which links him to the appalling crime.



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

Senior detectives are understood to be confident they have enough evidence to persuade a jury Bellfield is responsible for killing Milly.

They will pass five files of evidence, including thousands of pages of documents, to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Legal experts must then decide if there is a realistic prospect Bellfield would be convicted of the murder.

They must also examine whether it is in the public interest to try Bellfield, 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 understood to be linked to the arrest and interview of a 40-year-old west London scrap yard owner on August 4.



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 a newspaper interview earlier this year, Bellfield admitted driving the car on the day in question.

He said it was sitting low on its suspension, something that further aroused police suspicion, because he was transporting tools and building gear.

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.

A similar red car also features in another major line of inquiry sparked by what may have been an attempted abduction the previous day.

The family of a 12-year-old schoolgirl told police a man in a red car offered her a lift home in Shepperton, less than three miles from Walton-on-Thames.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US