New police search for Sarah Payne's dress

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The Independent Online

A new search for a blue dress worn by Sarah Payne was due to start at first light today after hundreds of calls were provoked by a reconstruction of the moments before the eight-year-old's death.

A new search for a blue dress worn by Sarah Payne was due to start at first light today after hundreds of calls were provoked by a reconstruction of the moments before the eight-year-old's death.

More than 300 people telephoned police after last night's BBC Crimewatch programme, in which Sarah's grandfather narrated the events of the day she was abducted near Littlehampton, West Sussex, in July.

Detective Superintendent Peter Kennett said one call was from a woman who saw Sarah's blue dress near to where her body was found. He said it was an "excellent sighting" and a search would start at first light.

Det Supt Kennett also said he may now have a registration number for the lorry that braked to avoid a van pulling out from a lane nearwhere Sarah's body was found.

Terry Payne described how his grandchildren had been playing on Kingston Gorse beach but then went to play on swings in a field near his home. Sarah, whose body was discovered on July 17, said she wanted to go home and they never saw her alive again.

Detectives have been desperate to hear from a lorry driver travelling along the A29 at about 11pm on July 1 who had to avoid a van coming out of a lane where her body was found.

The programme also showed a woman's 14cm-wide border spade, which detectives believe was similar to the one the killer used to dig the grave.

Sarah's grandfather said: "There is somebody out there who knows what happened to Sarah and I plead with them to come forward."

Anyone with information should call 0845 6070999.

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