No new leads in hunt for Daniel

THE detective leading the investigation into the disappearance of a seven-year-old Norfolk boy said no significant information had emerged to lead police to the youngster.

THE detective leading the investigation into the disappearance of a seven-year-old Norfolk boy said no significant information had emerged to lead police to the youngster.

Daniel Entwistle has now been missing from his home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, for 72 hours.

Det Supt Julian Gregory, said: "I won't pretend that I'm not frustrated that we haven't found him. We have a very strong desire to find this little lad and bring him back to his parents."

He said: "Abduction is a possible line of inquiry simply because we have a seven-year-old boy missing. We are looking at all the options but at the moment we have nothing that steers us in a particular direction.

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"Clearly the longer he's missing the more concerned we become of his safety.'

Daniel was last seen by his parents David, 41, and Paula, 30, at about 5pm last Saturday.

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CCTV footage from a convenience store close to his home showed him running an errand for his mother at 5.02pm, after which he returned home.

Shortly afterwards he left home on his bike.

Footage from a security camera on the forecourt of a Texaco garage a few minutes walk from his home showed a boy crossing the forecourt on a bike at 5.20pm.

Mr Gregory said: "It's a young lad who looks very similar to Daniel and the cycle is similar.'

A red bicycle believed to belong to Daniel was discovered by a river wall at the end of a lane running beside the garage.

Two members of the public discovered the abandoned bike next to the fast-flowing River Yare at 3am on Sunday and immediately reported it to the police.

Police have received two unconfirmed sightings of the boy between 7pm and 8.30pm on Saturday by residents of the estate where Daniel's family live who said they believed the boy they saw was Daniel, said Mr Gregory.

Searches for the youngster continued yesterday.

Police divers searched the river close to where the bike was found, moving their search a few hundred metres up stream. More than 100 officers are taking part in daily searches of the beach area, riverside, town and industrial estates, all within a 5km radius.

Specific searches have taken place at the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, which is a "magnet' for children, said Mr Gregory.

A police helicopter searched over the town and further afield, while specially trained civil protection volunteers searched the beach.

A fire service crew used an hydraulic platform to check for any sign of the boy at a metal scrap yard close to the dockland and industrial area where the bike was found.

Coastguards said their search for Daniel - of the sea and inland waterways of Great Yarmouth with up to 50 members of the RNLI - was one of the biggest they had yet carried out.

An RAF helicopter was last night due to search along the coast.

Mr Gregory said 300 calls had been received from the public but there were no significant leads.

Police are also using national statistics which chart the behaviour of children who go missing. They are also studying the list of local sex offenders.

Daniel's parents today addressed a morning assembly dedicated to their little boy.

Mr Entwistle, a railway maintenance worker, appealed to the children to help find Daniel and emphasised that they could talk to staff about his disappearance.

Keith Egleton, headteacher of Greenacre First, Middle and Nursery school, said the 447 pupils were quieter and more thoughtful when they returned to classes after the Bank Holiday break.

At the assembly the school's chaplain, the Rev Irene Knowles, said prayers for Daniel's family and for his safe return and a candle was lit on which the children could focus their thoughts.

Mr Egleton said detectives had been at the school and were liaising closely with staff so information from the children that may help the investigation could be passed on.

A school governor, a former police officer, is working closely with the detectives.

Mr Egleton said trained counsellors from Norfolk County Council remain on standby to talk to pupils about their concerns but their services had not yet been needed.

Mr Gregory said no significant information had yet come from the children.

A mobile police station has been set up one street away from Daniel's house to encourage residents to come forward with information.

Rubbish from the pleasure beach area collected over the weekend has been taken away and is being studied by police specialist search officers for any clues.

Candles were lit in the church close to Daniel's home, Mrs Knowles said.

Mrs Knowles, who is the team vicar of the Anglican Churches of Great Yarmouth, said the candles at St James's church had been lit "in hope'.

She said of yesterday's assembly at the school: "I took with me a candle which I lit and I called it a candle of hope so our prayers were of hope that Daniel will be returned to his family, to the school and to the community.'

She said: "I spoke to children out on Daniel's estate last night and one or two said they were sad and they had cried and was it OK and I assured them it was. I asked the schoolchildren to write prayers and messages for Daniel which I will then take and put into the church as that was something they could do for him."

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