Police launch murder investigation after hunt for missing schoolgirl

Tia Sharp
Tia Sharp went missing last Friday in South London Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police have launched a murder inquiry after abody was found at the home of Tia Sharp’s grandmother, following a search of the property this afternoon.

Enquiries are currently underway to establish the identity of the body. A post mortem is due to be held.

Police are seeking to find Stuart Hazell, the partner of Tia’s grandmother, to interview him in connection with the case. Police have said the public should not approach him but should call 999 immediately if they see him.

There have been no arrests, and the family of Tia Sharp has been informed.

Mr Hazell, thought to be one of the last people to see Tia, was questioned by police as a witness for more than two hours on Wednesday before returning home.

Tia seemingly vanished without a trace last Friday afternoon after telling relatives she was going shopping at the WhitgiftCentre in Croydon, south London.

She was last seen at the house where her grandmother Christine Sharp, 46, lives with partner Stuart Hazell, 37, at The Lindens in New Addington.

More than 80 police officers have spent almost seven days hunting for the youngster, while large members of the local community have lent their support to the cause.