Alice Gross missing: Police identify Elthorne Park as 'area of interest'

The development came following a detailed police reconstruction and emotional family plea

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The Independent Online

Police searching for missing London teenager Alice Gross cordoned off an "area of interest" last night in a park near the place she was last seen.

The park is less than half a mile from a path where CCTV footage shows Alice walking under a bridge along Grand Union Canal canal towards Hanwell.

“We have identified an area that is currently being assessed. It will be subject to further examination to determine if it is relevant to this investigation,” the force said.

However, Scotland Yard said they had not carried out any digging in the wooded section of Elthorne Park, west London, as of last night.

Alice, 14, was last seen on CCTV on 28 August, walking along the canal near the park. Detectives are searching for Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns in relation to her disappearance.

The new development came four weeks to the day that Alice was last sighted. Police yesterday staged a detailed recreation of her last known movements.

The reconstruction included copies of Alice’s blue trainers, distinctive glasses and her rucksack which was found four days after her disappearance.

The police have said that their investigation has gathered the largest amount of CCTV evidence since the 2011 London riots and that the search had been the largest since the 7/7 bombings. They said that have followed 729 lines of inquiry and spoken to over one thousand members of the public since she went missing.

Alice’s family, also yesterday, made an emotional plea for their daughter’s safe return, releasing a series of previously unseen pictures.

“We cannot believe that Alice is not at home with us and every morning brings new agony,” the Gross family said in a statement.

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Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss, the parents of missing teenager Alice Gross holding an album of photos of her at their home in Hanwell, west London

“We are appealing to Alice. If you are out there, to come home where you belong. We love you and we miss you.”

“We want to be a family again,” they added.

The distraught family appealed to members of the public who might have any information on Alice’s whereabouts, saying: “Please, please help us.”

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