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Missing Tia's family 'in bits'

The uncle of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp has urged her to come home and said her family is "in bits".

David Sharp was speaking outside Tia's grandmother's home, where she was last seen almost a week ago.

He told reporters: "The family, as you can imagine, are in bits. Everyone is trying to do their best by sticking together and keeping everything tight and supporting each other."

He went on: "I don't know what has happened to Tia. I don't want anyone to think the worst has happened to Tia."

He said he hoped she was "somewhere safe" and urged her: "Come home. There is no trouble. Walk through that door."

He praised the "amazing" support of members of the public helping in the search.

He was speaking after Tia's family were given an update on the investigation by Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola, who is leading the search.

Mr Scola spent 40 minutes with the Sharp family at their home in New Addington, near Croydon, south London.

When he came out, he told reporters: "I've been inside again to see Tia's family to offer support at this difficult time. We're still desperately trying to find Tia for them. I have updated them as to the depth of the investigation."

Police took away evidence from the family home this evening. Two plain clothes officers visited the house at around 7.20pm, with one carrying empty brown evidence bags. The male officer left the property at around 8pm carrying a large black holdall. He was later seen putting it into the back of a car along with two filled evidence bags. His female colleague left a few minutes later.

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