Police hunt for driver of lorry seen when Sarah disappeared

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The Independent Online

Police investigating the murder of Sarah Payne were hunting for a potentially important new witness last night.

Police investigating the murder of Sarah Payne were hunting for a potentially important new witness last night.

A driver has told detectives of a white van that pulled out in front of a truck on the A29 near Pulborough, West Sussex, near where the eight-year-old's body was found. The sighting was on the night that Sarah disappeared - 1 July. Sarah's brother Lee, 13, has told police that he saw a white van in the lane where she was last seen.

Detectives are now desperate to trace the driver of the truck, who could have information about the white van.

The driver who contacted the police was behind the truck travelling north up the A29 from Fontwell, near Chichester, and on past Pulborough.

The driver has told detectives that the white van pulled out in front of the truck from a track off the A29 north of Pulborough at about 10.30pm, forcing the truck to brake sharply. The van then continued north along the A29.

Sarah is believed to have been abducted from a country lane near her grandparents' home in Kingston, West Sussex, at about 7.45pm.

Her body was found in a field beside the A29 near Pulborough on 17 July, but officers believe it may have been left there on the same weekend she disappeared.

Police are expected to provide more information at a news conference today, and are due to unveil a company logo they believe was on the back of the truck.

They are also likely to give more details about the progress of the murder hunt at the conference at Littlehampton police station at 11am.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "It is very important that we trace this truck and its driver, and any possible passengers."

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