20/02/2008

Police Appeal For Information On Missing Girl

West Yorkshire police are appealing for information following the disappearance of a nine-year-old girl who failed to return from school yesterday evening.

Shannon Matthews, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire was reported missing to police on Tuesday night, and over 200 police officers and many more residents from the area are currently searching the area for the schoolgirl.

Shannon is described as white, around 4ft 1 ins tall, with shoulder length, medium brown coloured hair that was possibly tied up in a ponytail. She is also of slim build with blue eyes and freckles.

She was also last seen wearing a black school jumper with a school logo on it, a white cotton t-shirt, black trousers and a black waist length coat with fur round the hood and a pair of pink and grey 'Bratz' furry boots.

Officers are currently retracing the route she may have taken on her way home from school. Her family have been described as "extremely worried" as temperatures fell to around -9C overnight.

Shannon’s uncle Neil Hyett told the Yorkshire Post newspaper: "We have been out looking everywhere throughout the night but there is no sign of her. It was absolutely freezing. All the adults were so cold, so how cold would she be?

"We just need to find her, and find her quickly."

Shannon is described by her family as a "quiet girl" who has never went missing before.

Anyone with information is asked to contact officers on a dedicated number: 01274 373737 or text: 07786200806. Alternatively, the Crimestoppers number can be contacted anonymously on: 0800 555 111.

(JM)

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