TEENAGER Milly Dowler was abducted and brutally murdered in 2002.
It was a crime which shocked the nation and went unsolved for nine years.
Who was Milly Dowler?
Amanda Jane Dowler, known as Milly to her friends and family.
She was born in Surrey on June 25, 1988.
When she was just 13-years-old she would leave for school and never be seen alive again.
Her disappearance and the ensuing search would shock and stun the nation.
When did Milly go missing?
On March 21, 2002, she was making her way home with friends from Heathside School in Weybridge, Surrey.
Milly caught the train to get back to her parents home in nearby Hersham, but that day she and a friend got off a stop earlier at Walton-on-Thames.
The pair made their way to a cafe for a bite to eat and at 3:47pm Milly called her dad to say she would be home in half an hour.
At 4:05pm the girls left the cafe and went their separate ways.
The last person who would see Milly alive was a friend of her sister who was stood at a nearby bus stop.
Further down the road from the cafe was a CCTV camera which never captured an image of the schoolgirl.
But it did film a red Daewoo Nexia belonging to the girlfriend of Levi Bellfield.
In 2009 the vile killer would admit he was driving that car.
How long did the search for Milly take?
Milly was reported missing at 7pm on March 21, 2002, after she failed to return home.
A nationwide search was sparked with TV and celebrity appeals to find the girl as well as over 100 police and helicopters searching nearby streets, fields and rivers.
Crimewatch staged a reconstruction of her disappearance and her parents and cops made heartfelt pleas for information, but all to no avail.
In April of that year a body was found in the Thames prompting speculation it was Milly but it was revealed to be a pensioner who had gone missing a year earlier.
Despite all these efforts by June she had still not been found and that month police told her parents that their daughter was probably dead.
Three months later, on September 18, 2002, remains were discovered in Yateley Heath Woods in Hampshire, that were eventually identified by dental records as Milly’s.
They were so decomposed that a cause of death could not be determined and the case then officially switched from a missing person’s case to a murder inquiry, codenamed Operation Ruby.
Who is Levi Bellfield?
Levi Bellfield is a multiple murderer who killed at least three young women and girls.
As well as killing Milly, he murdered Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange, and attempted to kill Kate Sheedy.
Bellfield was named as the prime suspect in Surrey Police’s investigation into Milly’s murder in 2008 and was eventually charged with the crime on March 30, 2010.
When he was charged Bellfield was already serving three life sentences for murder and attempted murder.
His trial began the following year and on June 23, 2011, he was found guilty of the murder and given another life sentence with a whole life tarriff.
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Bellfield had always denied responsibility for murdering Milly but he finally admitted he killed her on January 27 2016.
He later denied making that confession.
Bellfield is behind bars at HMP Frankland in County Durham where he has converted to Islam and now goes by the name Yusuf Rahim.