By Victoria Ward and Martin Evans
From: The Telegraph
The police dog was taken into the terraced property at the Lindens, New Addington, south-east London, by a dog handler shortly after the family were given an inquiry update by Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola.
The officer emerged from the house, where the schoolgirl’s grandmother Christine Sharp, 46, lives with her partner Stuart Hazell, 37, and told reporters: “This morning I have been in to see the family and update them with details of the investigation.
“Of those details there is nothing I can share with you at the moment.”
However, the officer did say an update would be provided later.
The police dog was in the property for less than an hour.
Police searches have been continuing in a local wood, Birchwood, which is less than a mile from The Lindens.
A group of four women, wearing Find Tia T-shirts, were seen leaving the property this afternoon but did not speak to waiting media as they made their way to a car and drove off.
Volunteers are continuing to hand out missing posters to passing motorists.
Candles and tealights have been left at a makeshift vigil set up at a bus stop near Tia’s grandmother’s house, along with hand-written messages asking for the schoolgirl to be brought home.
Tia’s step–grandfather served time in jail after being caught with a machete.
Stuart Hazell, 37, is the partner of 12–year–old Tia Sharp’s maternal grandmother, Christine, and was the last member of the family to see her.
There are conflicting reports about whether he last saw her at the house he shares with her grandmother in New Addington, south London, or whether he walked her to a local tram station. Hazell has lived with Mrs Sharp, 46, for about four years, having previously dated her daughter, Tia’s 31–year–old mother Natalie Sharp.
Hazell was jailed for 12 months in 2010 at Croydon Crown Court after being caught with a machete. His father, Keith, confirmed that his son had been in prison but said that since meeting Mrs Sharp he had turned his life around. “Having the family around has really sorted him out,” he said.
“He is a different person and is really happy. He had a biological daughter but has never really seen her. He treated Tia like his own.”
Tia spent every weekend with her grandmother and Hazell. On Friday, Mrs Sharp, a care worker, went to work and had left Tia in her partner’s care.
It is believed the 12 year–old wanted to go to Croydon to buy flip flops and was given £11. She left the house without a mobile phone or a travel card and has not been seen since. David Niles, Tia’s stepfather, said the family was “in bits”.
Yesterday distraught Natalie Sharp, 31, spoke as the hunt for her daughter entered a fifth day.
She said: “We all feel terrible. We think she’s been taken but we just don’t know. There is no CCTV.”
Her words came as police started searching a local wood, Birchwood, less than a mile from where she was last seen.
Miss Sharp also said a witness had seen the 12-year-old leave the house on her own on Friday, despite contradictory reports that she had walked to the tram station with her grandmother’s boyfriend.
She said: “I have an independent witness that she left on her own walking down the road.”
Speaking of the family’s heartbreak, she added: “We know absolutely nothing. I wish to god I could tell you something. My baby girl walked out and she vanished.”
In an emotional appeal, her uncle, David Sharp said her disappearance was out of character and had left the family distraught.
He begged anyone with information about her whereabouts to come forward.
“Everyone is in bits,” he said. “I am trying to hold it together.”
Police officers drafted into London to help with the Olympics are assisting in the search for Tia.
Police have scoured front and back gardens on the estate where her grandmother lives, while locals were also handing out leaflets featuring her photograph.
Friends and family have had T-shirts made with Tia’s photograph, appealing for her safe return.
Read more: The Telegraph