Shanon Matthews, a new Mari Luz Cortes for the McCanns
Shannon Matthews, 9, missing from her home since Tuesday afternoon
MADELEINE McCann’s parents sent a heartfelt message of support yesterday to the distraught mum of Shannon Matthews.
Kate and Gerry spoke of “deep concern” for the nine-year-old, who went missing six days ago.
Gerry, whose four-year-old daughter vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal, last May, said in his online blog: “The continued disappearance of Shannon is deeply concerning and our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
“No matter what has happened to Shannon, there can be no doubt she must be extremely vulnerable.”
The surgeon, of Rothley, Leics, added: “We hope she is found safe and well very soon and returned to her family.”
22nd January 2008 (295 days)
There has been a lot of media attention focussed on a possible sighting of Madeleine in Montpellier one week ago. We only heard of this two days ago and this was from a report sent into the website. Clarence has been inundated with media requests from all over the world for further information. Despite this, Kate and I have had no official notification of the potential sighting nor, more importantly, of whether this sighting has been eliminated by the authorities despite what has been reported in the press.
The continued disappearance of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews is deeply concerning and our thoughts and prayers are with her family. No matter what has happened to Shannon, there can be no doubt she must extremely vulnerable having spent three nights and four days away from home. We hope that she is found safe and well very soon and returned to her family.
Hunt continues for missing Shannon
Police have searched more than 200 homes and received over 300 calls from the public as the search for missing nine-year-old Shannon Matthews continues for a seventh day.
The schoolgirl, from Moorside Road, Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, failed to return home from school after a swimming trip on Tuesday afternoon.
The police operation, which has involved 250 officers and desperate day-and-night searches by friends and relatives, has so far failed to find a trace of Shannon.
Officers have searched more than 200 homes within a half-mile radius of Moorside Road and leaflets appealing for information about Shannon's whereabouts have also been distributed around the area.
On Sunday the police operation focused on areas close to her family home and groups of officers could be seen conducting house to house inquiries in the vicinity.
A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Police described the investigation as "extensive", but stressed that the door-to-door inquiries were part of the wider hunt.
She said: "West Yorkshire Police is carrying out a large number of searches in and around the area where Shannon lives. This forms an important part of the investigation to build up a clearer picture of Shannon and her lifestyle and should not be seen as unusual."
Earlier, the congregation at St James Church, Heckmondwike, close to the youngster's home, began their Sunday service with prayers for her safe return.
The community has rallied around the family with worried neighbours and family members, some wearing T-shirts showing pictures of the schoolgirl, gathering at the residents' association hall near her home.
The last confirmed sighting of Shannon was as she left West Moor Junior School at 3.10pm after returning from a swimming lesson. Detectives have released CCTV footage showing Shannon entering and leaving Dewsbury Sports Centre swimming pool with classmates shortly before her disappearance.
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