A police search site at a garage area in Stifford Clays is being cleared by officers after the search activity concluded this morning, Friday May 19.
Officers established a cordon at the area between Goddard Road and Crammavill Street on Monday morning, May 15, following information given to Essex Police in February in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Danielle Jones in 2001.
Sadly despite extensive searching, Danielle’s body was not found.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Worron, head of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate (SCD), said: “We were at this site acting on a credible line of enquiry following the information passed to us in February.
“Forensic searches have been completed along with investigations using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and lastly searches using a specialist search dog.
“I completely stand by my decision to search this area. Not to search would have meant there would always have been a question mark over whether Danielle’s body could have been buried here.
“I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this week has been for Danielle’s family. Our activity here has reopened old wounds and thrust them in to the media spotlight again, 16 years after Danielle’s disappearance.
“Sadly we have been unable to end the pain they have continued to experience and we are no closer to knowing where Danielle is. But we will continue to be there to support them as we have since Danielle went missing.
“The next steps for us will be to review the case and determine whether there are any other investigative avenues for us to take to continue our search for Danielle.
“We will also continue to look at the reasons why this area did not form part of the original searches in 2001.”
Throughout the search officers have worked closely with Thurrock Council as the main owners of the garage area. We will make good the areas where excavation occurred and return the site to them.
ACC Worron continued: “I have been really grateful for all the support we have received from the local community in Stifford Clays and particularly the residents whose houses back on to the area we have effectively taken over for the last week.
“We have also had great support from Thurrock Council and I have been assured we have their support in our continuing investigation to find out what happened to Danielle Jones.”