The desperate search in Great Yarmouth for Daniel Entwistle

EDP 8 May 2003 page 2 and 3 - Daniel Entwistle

EDP 8 May 2003 page 2 and 3 - Daniel Entwistle - Credit: Archant

Five days after the disappearance of Great Yarmouth schoolboy Daniel Entwistle police used hi-tech sonar equipment in the River Yare in a bid to try and find him.

Missing nine-year-old Daniel Entwistle. Photo: Norfolk police

Missing nine-year-old Daniel Entwistle. Photo: Norfolk police - Credit: Archant

Daniel vanished on May 3 from his home in Copperfield Avenue, Great Yarmouth.

The Greenacre school pupil was last seen when he went out to play on his red BMX.

The following report appeared in this newspaper detailing the frantic search:

Police divers yesterday used hi-tech sonar equipment to scour a Yarmouth riverbed as the search for missing seven year-old Daniel Entwistle intensified.

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And, as police confirmed they were not ruling out the possibility of abduction, forensic experts combed an

area close to where a bicycle, believed to belong to Daniel, was found abandoned.

Members of the fire service used a hydraulic platform to search nearby garage and warehouse roofs in a

desperate bid to trace the youngster.

But, as fears for his safety grew, officers admitted they were no nearer to finding out what had happened to the Yarmouth schoolboy, although there are no plans to scale down the investigation in the immediate future.

Det Supt Julian Gregory, who is leading Operation Canada, said: 'Obviously, as time goes on, we are

becoming more and more concerned but we are still hopeful we can find him.'

Daniel suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Mr Gregory said officers could 'not discount' the possibility that he had run away.

'The little lad suffered from this disorder and how he got on with other kids is of relevance to us.

'It is not usual for children to run off for this length of time but we can not discount it,' he said.

The force has received up to 500 calls since Daniel disappeared, but none has proved significant.

He said officers would be digitally enhancing CCTV footage showing a boy riding a bicycle on the forecourt of a Texaco garage a few minutes walk from Daniel's Copperfield Avenue home, to find out whether it was him.

Police had also called upon the knowledge of coastguard and local tidal expert Mario Siano to help them determine which areas of the River Yare should be searched.

Divers would continue the search of the riverbed by sonar today.

The equipment will provide a 3D computer image of the riverbed and can search up to 10 miles a day. It is being used to map a two-mile stretch of the river, which can be up to 20ft deep, from the mouth of

the Yare.

Mr Gregory also appealed to anglers who fish in the harbour in the Southgates Road area to contact police.

'We want to contact people who use the harbour for recreational fishing, whether or not they were there over

the weekend. Please contact us.

'There are people who use the river who may have seen or heard something in the past or over the weekend that

may be of relevance to us,' he said.

It has been five days since Daniel, a pupil at Greenacre First, Middle and Nursery School, disappeared.

He was last seen by his parents David, 41, and Paula, 30, at his home just after 5pm on Saturday.

CCTV footage from a convenience store close to his home showed him buying a pint of milk at 5.02pm on

Saturday, before returning home and going out on his bike.

Police have received two unconfirmed sightings of the boy between 7pm and 8.30pm on Saturday by residents of

the estate where his family lives.

Mr Gregory said officers were working closely with Daniel's family to try to find out why he disappeared.

Police are using national statistics that chart the behaviour of children who go missing and are still studying the list of local sex offenders.

More than 100 officers have been taking part in daily searches.

Police yesterday released a family video of Daniel and his two brothers at their parents' wedding at Gorleston register office last November.

Officers also issued fresh photos of him with his family in the hope of jogging people's memories about the day he went missing.

One photo shows a smiling Antony hugging Daniel and another is of Daniel with his father and both brothers at

the wedding reception.

The same report also showed how Daniel's school friends were worried for him.

A close friend of missing schoolboy Daniel Entwistle lit candles for him at a church near his home at

Yarmouth yesterday.

Pictures and messages from dozens of children from Daniel's school were placed on the altar at St James'

Church in Admiralty Road.

The Rev Irene Knowles, who led prayers on Tuesday at a special assembly at his school, said Daniel,

seven, would be prayed for at a meeting of the parochial church council this evening.

'The family are very grateful for all that's being done and are anxious to keep Daniel's name in the forefront.'

Mrs Knowles said some messages had been sent to Daniel's family to offer them support.

Ten-year-old Rachel, a pupil at Greenacre First, Middle and Nursery School, lit 15 small candles on the


Rachel has become close friends with Daniel and acts as his 'buddy' at school at lunchtimes by taking him

to clubs and keeping an eye out for him in the playground.

Making a plea for him to come home safely, she said: 'We are very sad he is missing. Come home, please come

home. We are all worried about you,'