Police investigating the murder of a teenage girl who disappeared 16 years ago have begun searching a wooded area in Northamptonshire.
Sarah Benford, 14, went missing from her care home in Northampton in April 2000. A murder investigation began three years later.
Detectives are carrying out new searches in woodland near Warkton.
A recent review of the case including interviews with 20 people led to the decision to search the area.
Sarah’s mother, Vicky Benford, said: “Sarah went missing in April 2000, and I have spent the last 16 years wondering where she is. As a family we are looking for closure around her disappearance and somebody must know something. We would ask for people to contact the police if they know anything about Sarah’s disappearance.
“As a family we need to come to terms with what has happened and won’t be able to do this until we know what has happened to Sarah.”
Sarah lived with her family in Kettering but spent time at a care home in Northampton.
More on this and other stories from Northamptonshire
Police described her as a “troubled teenager” with a history of running away.
‘Looking for closure’
She was last seen by her mother in Kettering town centre on 6 April 2000, two days after absconding from the care home.
Sarah was wearing patchwork dark blue jeans, an orange fleece, black Puffa jacket, cream trainers and was carrying a navy and green rucksack.
Police believe the teenager was murdered “in the early days of her disappearance”.
Despite eight people being arrested in connection with the case, no-one has ever been charged.
Officers have reviewed the case ahead of what would have been Sarah’s 30 birthday on 19 March.
What happened to Sarah?4 April 2000 – Sarah absconds from Welford House children’s home in Welford Road, Northampton, and returns to Kettering
6 April 2000 – Sarah visits her mother …read more
Source:: BBC world news feed