Police search third home in Soham investigation

Police investigating the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman widened their search yesterday to take in a house four miles from where the girls were found.

Just after 9ama team of nine forensic science officers from Norfolk cordoned off a close in Lakenheath before beginning to search a bungalow.

They spent eight hours going through the home of Lily Gollings, the paternal grandmother of Ian Huntley, 28. He has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act at Rampton secure hospital, charged with murdering the two girls. Police stressed that the search was routine.

Yesterday officers were still standing guard outside the home of Mr Huntley's father in nearby Littleport, though a three-day search of the pale brick bungalow has now been completed with 50 items sent off for further examination.

But yesterday Operation Fincham search teams were continuing to comb through the house Mr Huntley shared with his fiancée Maxine Carr, 25, now on remand at Holloway Prison accused of perverting the course of justice, as well as the surrounding Soham Village College, where he worked as a caretaker. Last night Cambridgeshire County Council said it was "far too early" to decide the fate of the buildings after reports that the caretaker's house might have to be demolished.

This morning the South and West Cambridgeshire coroner David Morris will open inquests into the deaths of the 10-year-olds. The hearings will be adjourned pending the outcome of any criminal proceedings.

Police said yesterday that it would be some time before officers completed their investigations around the spot near Lakenheath air base, where the girls were found by a gamekeeper over the weekend. On Wednesday, the girls' parents – Kevin and Nicola Wells and Sharon and Leslie Chapman – made private visits to the spot, where hundreds of bouquets of flowers have been left along with the thousands now outside the parish church in Soham.

There appeared to be little sign yesterday that the national, and even international, outpouring of sympathy and grief was slowing down. By mid-afternoon almost 160,000 people had left messages of condolence on two websites set up by Cambridgeshire Police and the county council.

In another show of the strength of feeling the case has generated, the Football Association announced that a minute's silence would be held at every League game this weekend. Manchester United and Chelsea will be the first to observe the silence before their Premier League game tonight.

"The whole of the nation has been shocked by the deaths of Holly and Jessica," the FA director Paul Barber said. Jessica, in particular, enjoyed playing the game and both girls were wearing Manchester United shirts when they were last seen at 7.20pm on 4 August.

Soham is still struggling to come to terms with the shock of the double killing. The town's vicar, the Reverend Tim Alban Jones, said: "One of the things that has struck me since we heard of the deaths of these two little girls is that we are not alone in all this. It seems to me that these tragic events, which have scarred us so deeply, have also touched the hearts of many other people across the country and throughout the world."

Yesterday 300 16-year-olds were forced to collect their GCSE results from the library because of the ongoing search of their school. Howard Gilbert, the principal, congratulated his pupils on "excellent" results, with 69 per cent of candidates gaining at least five As to Cs.

It is still not known exactly how Holly and Jessica died after a post-mortem examination proved inconclusive. It may be some time before all tests are completed, delaying their funerals.

* One hundred extra staff have been drafted in by the Criminal Records Bureau to ensure that thousands of teachers and other school employees have been cleared by police to work with children in time for the new term. Teaching agencies had voiced concern over a growing backlog that had threatened to leave nurseries and schools short of staff.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home