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Search for Tia stretches into fourth day

Tia Sharp has been missing since Friday Photo: Metropolitan Police

The family of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp have made an emotional plea for her to return home as the hunt for the youngster stretches into its fourth day.

12 year old Tia was last seen leaving her grandmother's home in New Addington at around midday on Friday after telling relatives she was going to the Whitgift Centre in Croydon town centre.

Police have been scouring hours of CCTV footage but said they had not found any trace of Tia, who has never gone missing before.

Tia's mother Natalie Sharp, 31, said: "We all feel terrible. We think she's been taken but we just don't know. There is no CCTV. "

The youngster's uncle David Sharp is urging anyone who knows of his niece's whereabouts to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola, from the Metropolitan Police's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said the youngster spent a lot of time at her grandmother Christine Sharp's house and the last person to see Tia was her grandmother's boyfriend of five years, Stuart Hazell.

Police have released CCTV images of her meeting Mr Hazell in a Co-op store on Thursday afternoon, She was wearing the same white vest top and grey skinny jeans she had on when she vanished.

CCTV image of Tia in from the Co-op in Featherbed Lane, Addington Credit: Metropolitan Police

Scotland Yard said there had been 55 reports of sightings of Tia, although these are yet to be confirmed.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola, said: "At this stage, it's a relatively simple timeline as we know.

"She was at her grandmother's address, she slept late and then she left to get the bus.

"We've had one neighbour who's reported possibly seeing her walking to the bus stop but as yet that is uncorroborated."

Mr Scola released a CCTV image of Tia taken at a Co-op store in New Addington at around 4.15pm the day before she went missing, when she was wearing similar clothes to when she was last seen.

Tia did not have her young person's travelcard with her but some bus and tram drivers let children travel without one.

Police believe she had a small amount of cash with her, but she did not have her mobile phone.

Local residents have been putting up posters in New Addington Credit: ITV News

Police have been searching gardens and school grounds near the house of Tia's grandmother while local residents have helped with the search by handing out leaflets and posters.

Police have said they are particularly keen to hear from anyone in the Lindens area of New Addington who has information and appealed for any bus or tram drivers in the Croydon area who recognise Tia's description to contact them. She is known to frequent the Croydon, Mitcham and Wimbledon areas.

Tia is white, 4ft 5in and slim, and was wearing FCUK glasses.

She was dressed in a yellow bandeau top over a white bra with visible cross straps, light grey leopard print leggings, and black and pink Nike high-top trainers.

The family have had T-shirts printed with a photograph of the missing schoolgirl Credit: PA

The stepfather of missing Tia Sharp was wearing a Tia campaign T-shirt today. 29 year old David Niles told reporters: "Just find my little girl." He said the family were "in bits".

"I just want to find my little girl," he said, wearing a find Tia campaign T-shirt."How would you feel if it was your daughter?

"We're in bits, the whole country has helped us and is supporting us.

"I haven't slept in four days."

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