EXCAVATION work at a garage area in Stifford Clays in connection with the murder of Danielle Jones has entered its second day.
Digging started on Tuesday morning, May 16, led by a forensic archaeologist. One of the 20 plots within the police cordon formed the focus of the more detailed searching on day two.
The excavation of the base of that formed the focus of the information received by Essex Police in February this year has found nothing.
Work will continue on the site to establish whether any further excavation is required at any of the other plots in line with the information received in February within the police cordon.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Worron, head of the SCD, said: “A thorough search was conducted on the base which formed the focus of our work yesterday and I am confident that Danielle’s body is not there.
“I am however committed to ensuring that we satisfy ourselves before leaving the area that there is nothing concealed under any of the bases indicated within the information received in February.
“Danielle’s family have been updated on this development and we continue to work with them.
“This case is not closed. It will remain open until Danielle’s body is found and she is returned to her family.
“The one person who knows where her body is still refuses to tell police or her family. Stuart Campbell could end the last 16 years of pain for Linda and Tony and tell them where their daughter is.
“If anyone has any information, however small or insignificant you feel this may be, please contact my detectives at the Stanway Major Incident Room on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
POLICE have taken control of part of a garage area in Stifford Clays in a search connected to the murder of 15-year-old Danielle Jones in 2001.
Officers are at the site under the powers of a warrant and a cordon has been established. Inside that cordon are 20 plots, some of which will form part of the search.
Forensic examinations were conducted yesterday and the garages made safe so further work can start today, Tuesday, May 16.
That work will start with a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) device being used to check for any anomalies inside the cordon. That investigative work will then determine what excavation will be required.
ACC Steve Worron, head of the SCD, said: “I am pleased with the way the work is progressing on site and as we move in to our second day we will work with a forensic archaeologist to establish where any excavation will be required.
“This search will be thorough and as such I have placed no definite timescales on how long it will take. I am determined to ensure when we leave this location we do so knowing whether this is where Danielle’s body was buried 16 years ago.
“I appreciate the disruption our activity here will be causing local residents and I would like to thank them for their cooperation.”
On Monday afternoon Danielle’s parents Linda and Tony Jones visited the site accompanied by their Family Liaison Officer (FLO). The FLO has been assigned to support the family since Danielle’s disappearance in 2001.
Tuesday 0900 hrs
A statement from Essex Police is expected at 1030 hrs. This may well be a statement that reviews what happened on Monday and what
the plans are for Tuesday.
Update: 1400 hrs
Linda and Tony Jones, the parents of Danielle Jones, visited the site this afternoon.
The area has been prepared for what appears to be a major excavation.
It appears that they have taken down a garage and are wrapping up pieces of it individually.
A police spokesperson has confirmed that the dig may take two days.
To give you an idea of the scene. The garage area is on Goddard Road, Stifford Clays which runs from Long Lane to Plains Way that then runs into Crammavill Street.
The garages have two entrance points. One in Goddard Road and one in Crammavill Street.
Interview with Assistant Chief Constable Steve Worron
A search has begun today, Monday, May 15, at a garage block in Stifford Clays, Thurrock, in connection with the murder of 15-year-old schoolgirl Danielle Jones in 2001.
Since February officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate (SCD) have been examining information received and will now search an area between Goddard Road and Crammavill Street.
They have not at this time ruled out the possibility that Danielle’s body could be buried there.
Some non-specific information was received in 2001 relating to this garage area, however, these garages were not searched during the 2001 investigation. We are working to ascertain why these were not searched as part of the original investigation.
Danielle Jones was last seen at around 8am on Monday, June 18, 2001, when she left her home in East Tilbury to catch the bus to school.
Extensive searches were conducted in the bid to find her and despite the conviction of her uncle Stuart Campbell for murder in December 2002 her body has never been found.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Worron, head of the SCD, said: “Danielle’s disappearance in 2001 and the subsequent murder investigation was one of the biggest cases Essex Police had dealt with at the time.
“Over the course of the investigation more than 750 police officers and staff worked tirelessly to find out for her family what happened to Danielle.
To date Stuart Campbell has shown no remorse for his crime and has not told police or Danielle’s family where her body is.
“We received information earlier this year that there had been unusual activity in the garage block around the time of Danielle’s disappearance.
“We are following a credible line of enquiry in respect of this garage block and I am absolutely committed to conducting a thorough and professional search to see if we can bring the Jones family any closer to knowing what happened to Danielle 16 years ago.”
ACC Worron added: “We have remained in contact with Danielle’s parents Linda and Tony Jones since Campbell’s conviction for her murder and we have updated them on our plans for this search.
“We will continue to keep them up to date on our progress.”
Danielle parents Linda and Tony Jones said: “We are extremely grateful that the police are following up this information and we know they are determined to do whatever they can to find Danielle.
“We think about Danielle every day and we hope that this latest search may bring us answers to what happened to her 16 years ago.”
Anyone who feels they have information which could assist the enquiry is asked to contact Stanway Major Investigation Room on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
ESSEX Police are searching the Stifford Clays area as they have re-opened the Danielle Jones murder case.
A press conference in Purfleet has just been held.