Search for missing girl extends to Web

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The Independent Online

Police searching for the missing teenager Danielle Jones admitted yesterday that hopes of a "happy ending" were fading.

The Essex force has set up an appeal for information on the internet and also released a home video of the schoolgirl playing with her two pet rabbits in the hope that it might jog someone's memory.

The 15-year-old girl disappeared 10 days ago after leaving her home in East Tilbury, Essex, to catch a bus to school.

Detective Superintendent Peter Coltman, who is leading the investigation, said: "I am more and more worried that this will not have a happy ending. We are now in the middle of the second week of the search and have no positive sightings of her."

Essex Police has dedicated a page on its website to the missing girl. A spokesman said: "We've launched the site, which features pictures, information about Danielle's disappearance and numbers for people to contact, in another bid to try and find where she might be." The website address is: www.essex.police.uk/danielle

In the video Danielle is seen playing with her pets, Maizie and Milly, in the living room of her home last Easter.

Supt Coltman explained: "In school uniform she looked completely different so we are hoping to get as many images of her out as possible. I hope if anyone has seen her or recognises her from the clip they will now come forward."

Danielle, who is described as a shy girl, has not been seen or answered her mobile telephone since disappearing on Monday 18 June.

Detectives were planning to interview her friends yesterday. Her closest friend, Lauren Payne, 14, made an emotional plea for her to get in touch: "Please Danielle, if you read or hear this we want you back. We need to know you are safe."

A girl matching Danielle's description was spotted getting into a dark blue Transit-type van shortly after she left home at around 8am. While admitting it might be a "red herring", Supt Coltman said it remained the strongest lead that police had.

"We have examined a number of vehicles, but are still looking for this vehicle," he said. "We want to trace a blue Transit-type van, but I am equally worried that she might have got into another vehicle."

Officers continued their search of the Thurrock area yesterday. "I will not give up hope, but I have had no positive contact and, as time progresses, I have to be aware of other outcomes," Supt Coltman said.

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