Milly may have gone with friend, say police

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The Independent Online

Police investigating the disappearance of teenager Amanda Dowler said yesterday it was more likely she had run away with someone rather than being abducted.

Superintendent Alan Sharp, of Surrey Police, said the inquiry had been "deluged" with calls from the public, but there had been no evidence of the 13-year-old struggling with any kidnapper. "It therefore leaves us to conclude that it is much more likely that Amanda has gone with someone she knows rather than being taken by force and abducted off the street." He insisted that all lines of inquiry were still open.

Amanda – also known as Milly – was last seen nine days ago in a café at Walton-on-Thames railway station. After telephoning her father, Bob, she set off for the short walk home, but never arrived.

Yesterday, her 16-year-old sister, Gemma, who has been too distraught to talk publicly about her feelings, wrote a heart-rending letter in a fresh appeal to help find her sister. Gemma's letter said: "Please help me find my sister. One week ago, I was looking forward to the Easter holiday. Milly was going to come shopping with me to choose my prom dress, and we had planned a great big Easter party.

"My life has been turned upside down; every day I wake up with the hope that Milly will return. The nights are worse and my imagination runs wild thinking about what has happened to her."

The girls' mother, Sally, 43, who teaches maths, said: "Gemma leaves school this year and she's got her GCSEs coming up. One of the big things to do over the Easter holidays was to get a dress for the end-of-school prom."

Supt Sharp said: "We are piecing together a jigsaw. Is there something in her background, her make-up, in the way she interacts with other people that will take us forward?"

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