SEARCH FOR SHANNON: 3,000 homes to be searched

Three thousand homes in the immediate area around the home of missing Dewsbury girl Shannon Matthews are to be searched by police.

And, as revealed in the YEP last week, police are using search dogs specially-trained to find the scent of corpses. Extra dogs from Greater Manchester have also been drafted in.

Police yesterday revealed they had already searched more than 500 homes as part of the hunt for nine-year-old Shannon who disappeared two weeks ago yesterday following an after-school swimming trip .

Det Supt Andy Brennan, pictured, who is leading the inquiry, said that occupants of the searched houses were also being interviewed in an attempt to find clues to Shannon's whereabouts.

He said that while still they were still hopeful of finding Shannon alive they had to work on the possibility that she had come to harm.

Police now have Shannon's DNA, thanks to the co-operation of her family, and her finger prints from her school books.

Police have released details of the two-piece swimsuit and towel which Shannon had with her. The swimsuit is pink with a tank top which has crossover straps at the back and which has navy blue fish motifs on the top and bottom. The towel is mid blue and light blue striped.

More than 250 officers and 60 detectives – 10 per cent of West Yorkshire Police operation strength – are now engaged in the hunt . Police are also checking on the homes of registered sex offenders along with family friends and acquaintances in the area.

The last confirmed sighting of Shannon was at 3.10pm on Tuesday, February 19 in Church Lane, Dewsbury Moor, outside Westmoor junior school where Shannon is a pupil.

Anyone with information should ring police on 01274 373737.

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