UK & World News
Tia Gran's Partner: Schoolgirl Is 'Angel'
Missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp is "a happy-go-lucky golden angel", hergrandmother's partner has said.
She has no problems at all and has not been involved in arguments, Stuart Hazell told ITV News.
Mr Hazell, 37, is thought to be one of the last people to see Tia, who vanished last Friday afternoon after saying she was going to the Whitgift Centre in Croydon.
She is understood to have been last seen at the house where Mr Hazell lives with her grandmother Christine Sharp, 46, in New Addington, south London.
Mr Hazell, who was interviewed by police for more than two hours on Thursday as a witness, said: "She's got no problems at all, she's a happy-go-lucky golden angel, she's perfect. There's no arguments, nothing we can think of."
Asked if he felt people were pointing the finger at him, he said: "I do feel that people are pointing the finger at me because till the other day it was known that I was the last person to see her but I wasn't, it's not about me it's about Tia and we've got to get her home man, just don't know what more to do."
Police are currently liaising with officers who investigated the fake kidnap of Shannon Matthews.
The nine-year-old was the subject of a fake kidnap plot by her mother Karen Matthews, 36, and another man in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
Sky's crime correspondent Martin Brunt said: "That's not to suggest at all that police think that is a likely scenario in Tia's disappearance.
"But they simply want to talk to other squads of detectives who've had to deal in the early days with missing teenagers and young girls before the real story emerges, and so far the real story of Tia's disappearance hasn't emerged.
Tia, 12, has not been seen since last Friday when she left her grandmother Christine Sharp's home in south London.
Brunt said officers began searching through bins outside the terraced property this morning, looking for clues or evidence of what happened to Tia.
On Thursday evening police took away evidence in bags from the property. Sky sources said one holdall taken away by police contained bedding.
Police had put a hold on rubbish collections in the area on Monday, but have been checking through hundreds of bins as the investigation entered a new search phase.
Two dozen officers are carrying out "minute searches" of the rubbish before it is loaded on to refuse trucks by workers from Croydon Council, Brunt added. The search is likely to take two days.
Police have also cordoned off a landfill site where rubbish collected from the 2,000 houses on the estate is taken.
Meanwhile Tia's biological father, Steve Carter, told radio station LBC 97.3: "We've all got to work together and it's all for one thing and it's got to be Tia.
"At the moment, it's been tough, very, very tough, but I think when we all pull together, it makes it easier, just that bit easier, knowing that there's that hope that she's going to come home, she's going to be safe."
Earlier, Tia's stepfather David Niles posted a message on Facebook, saying: "Its daddy. Plz cum home I love u and miss u xxxxxx."
Several Facebook page appeals have been set up to find the missing girl.
Dozens of officers have joined the hunt for the missing girl, and have searched woodland at the bottom of the estate, some 400 yards from the terraced house.
Metropolitan Police area commander Neil Basu stressed the investigation remained a missing persons inquiry with no suspects, adding: "I am looking to find Tia safe and well."
He said some officers, who had been helping staff the Olympics, were now part of the search team, which involves 40 detectives and 40 specialist search officers.
"The family want Tia home, they miss her dreadfully," Mr Basu said.
Police revealed yesterday that a member of the public had reported seeing the schoolgirl leaving Mrs Sharp's home at midday on Friday.
The witness told detectives Tia was alone when she left the house, but it was unclear where she was going.
An earlier trawl through hours of CCTV footage found no trace of Tia, who has never gone missing before.
Hundreds of posters appealing for information have been distributed around New Addington, and Tia's face looks out from most local shops and noticeboards.
The schoolgirl's uncle made a television plea for her safe return on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters outside the family home, David Sharp said: "Come home, walk through that door and it's like back to being a normal family."
He said he did not want anyone to "think the worst", adding: "I want her to be somewhere safe, somewhere happy, just waiting to come home."