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Body found at home of Tia Sharp's gran
Police have launched a murder inquiry after a body was found at the home of Tia Sharp’s gran.
The body has yet to be identified but police are searching for Stuart Hazell, the partner of Tia's grandmother Christine Sharp, to be interviewed in connection with the case.
They have warned Mr Hazell, 37, should not be approached and if he is seen members of the public should call 999.
There have been no arrests at this time.
The family of Tia has been informed.
Police cordoned off the area around Christine Sharp’s home, 20 The Lindens this afternoon and said it was part of a pre-planned search.
DCI Nick Scola, who is leading the search for Tia, said: "This morning a member of the family left the address by agreement so that we could carry out a planned forensic search of the property. This search will start shortly."
Earlier on Friday, Tia’s grandmother was escorted from her house by two detectives. Her partner Stuart Hazell was already out of the house.
The 47-year-old had issued a statement on Friday morning saying she would help the police and Tia was not staying away through choice.
She added that she loves Tia deeply and that she is her life.
Today’s events come exactly one week after 12-year-old Tia went missing. Police stepped up their search this morning as they stopped vehicles coming in and out of New Addington.
Uniformed officers were also seen on local bus routes talking to passengers about Tia.
On Wednesday Stuart Hazell was also interviewed by the police as a witness in the investigation.
He then did an interview with ITN on Thursday where he denied he had anything to do with Tia’s disappearance.
Mr Hazell said: “Did I do anything to Tia? No, I didn’t. “I love her to bits; she is like my own daughter. She has a loving home. She wanted it, she got it.
“I know deep down she walked out of here. I know deep down she walked down that path. What happened after that I don’t know.”
Hundreds of police officers from a variety of forces have been involved in the investigation, with some being pulled off Olympic duty Tia Sharp who lives in Pollards Hill, Merton, was visiting her grandmother Christine Sharp at The Lindens, New Addington.
She told her grandmother's partner Stuart Hazell, 37, was going to the Whitgift Centre to buy shoes at around 12pm and has not been seen since.
Since her disappearance hundreds of residents in Croydon and Merton have volunteered their time, handing out posters and liaising with police to conduct their own searches.
Community group New Addington Pathfinders (NAP) have printed thousands of posters, that have been distributed across Croydon and surrounding areas.
Tia’s natural father, Steven Carter, spoke exclusively to the Croydon Guardian on Wednesday. He said he just wants his daughter home safe.
He said: “At the candle lighting David Sharp lit the candle for me. We're good friends, he was the one who told me this was happening.
“I don't like the idea, candles for me mean death, so I blew mine out. When she is home and safe I'll re-light mine."