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The search for Sarah


Sarah Payne
An undated photo of Sarah Payne.



Sarah and her sister
A photo issued by Sarah Payne's family of their murdered daughter (right) with her sister Charlotte, 6,
taken by their brother Luke, 11, in June 2000.



Sarah Payne



Sarah's brothers were the last to see her before her abduction



The search for Sarah Payne lasted for more than two weeks and involved
her parents Sara and Michael from the first day.



Within a day of Sarah having gone missing police officers had been brought in off leave to join the hunt.
Many local people had already heeded the call for help and were combing the area near where she vanished.



Police initially concentrated on a small area and over the two week period officers spent long hours
questioning motorists, looking for clues to the schoolgirl's whereabouts.



Police divers searched in rivers and streams as the operation grew in size.



A long and difficult investigation for the police.



Police have interviewed 4,000 people.



Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo of Sussex Police devoted hundreds of officers to the case.



And as part of a massive media operation, Sarah's distraught family willingly made appeal
after appeal before the nation's media.



By the second week of the search the RAF volunteered this jet to help spot potential areas to search.



However, on Monday 17 July, everyone's worst fears were confirmed when the body of a child
was discovered in a field - just outside the area of the main search. The body
was confirmed as that of Sarah Payne the following day.



Her body lay 10 yards from the A29.



Police search
Sussex police forensic officers on July 18 2000 at the scene by the A29 where Sarah Payne's body
was found in a field north of Pulborough, Sussex.
(Photo: PA)



Soon afterwards, an anonymous member of the public left the first flowers at the scene
of the discovery. Later, Sarah's parents privately visited the scene.



Floral tributes
Sarah Payne's family make a visit on July 19 2000 to the scene where her body was discovered
beside the A29 near Pulborough, West Sussex.
(Photo: Chris Ison, PA)



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