Anorak | Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews And Missing Child Protocol

Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews And Missing Child Protocol

by | 27th, February 2008

matthews-shannon.jpg MADDYWATCH Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

Shannon Matthews is missing. Is the media treating her case the same way as it views Madeleine McCann? And, in light of missing Madeleine,  is there now a protocol for what occurs when a child goes missing?


Sue Carroll: Most of us won’t have an instant recollection who Shannon Matthews is. After thinking twice, of course we all know she is the nine-year-old missing from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire.

But what a terrible indictment of the media that, when a child has disappeared in Britain for over a week, her name doesn’t spring to our lips, we don’t know her school, favourite toy or what she was wearing when last seen.

Shannon is as precious to her family as Madeleine McCann, missing for 300 days, is to hers. But where are the front-page pictures, campaigns, the furore? Would this be different if she was the daughter of two middle-class, mediasavvy parents? Not a working-class child from up North.

THE SUN : “Marchers wants Shannon home”

THE family of Shannon Matthews led a poignant candlelit vigil for the missing nine-year-old last night as police admitted hopes of finding her alive looked “bleak”.

Anguished mum Karen and stepdad Craig joined 300 neighbours on a march through streets near their home.

Children carried a banner showing the youngster’s face and a hotline to ring with information.

A hotline. Like Madeleine . A vigil . There is picture of Shannon on her birthday .

Balloons bearing pleas for Shannon’s safe return were released during last night’s vigil.

THIS IS LONDON : “Police search house of missing Shannon’s uncle as detectives treat case ‘as seriously as a murder'”

A dozen police officers conducted a fingertip search of the house belonging to the uncle of missing nine-year-old Shannon Matthews today.

Officers from West Yorkshire Police filed into the property in Moorside Road, Dewsbury Moor which adjoins the home of the schoolgirl who disappeared last week.

The house belongs to Neil Hyett, Shannon Matthews’ uncle, and his wife, Amanda.

Detective Superintendent Brennan, who is heading up the search, says:

“I’m convinced that if Shannon had run away that night of her own volition, in a den or hideaway of some sort, we would have found her by now over a week on from when the investigation opened.

“It is very rare in searches of this kind that a girl of Shannon’s age should be missing for this long without any clues pointing to her whereabouts.

“It is extremely concerning and we are now looking at this on a scale as serious as a murder investigation.

“It can now be said that the tone of our enquiry has changed to a bleaker outlook.

“The shift in emphasis is that we are now looking for individuals who may have been seen on the day of her disappearance, acting suspiciously, or unknown to the local community.

“We are also appealing for anyone who may have friends or family that may have been behaving strangely since Shannon went missing, to come forward.

“At this stage, any shred of information, however insignificant it seems, may help.

“We have a grave concern that she may have fallen into the wrong hands but no arrests have been made at this point, and I must stress at this point that we are not ruling out any possibilities as to what might have happened to her.”

DAILY MAIL : “Now police say missing Shannon, 9, could have been abducted”

A week after Shannon Matthews was last seen walking away from school in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, it also emerged that another girl called Shannon escaped an abduction attempt 10 miles away earlier the same day.

Shannon Selby, 12, was walking to school alone in Wakefield when a man pulled up and ordered her to “get in this car now”.

She ran away as the man parked and made to chase her on foot.

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Posted: 27th, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (1,154) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink