A statue in memory of murder victim Sarah Payne has been recovered undamaged after it was stolen from her school, police said.
Sarah’s mother, Dr Sara Payne, took to Twitter this morning (Thursday March 12) to express her relief after the statue was discovered by a member of the public.
The body of eight-year-old Sarah was found in a field near Pulborough on July 17 2000, 16 days after she disappeared from a field in Littlehampton.
Roy Whiting was arrested on suspicion of her murder and was jailed for life in December 2001.
The 2ft bronze statue of a young girl was presented to her former school, Burhill County Primary School in Hersham, Surrey, but was believed to have been stolen yesterday (Wednesday March 11).
However, the statue was found outside an address in Northfield Road, Cobham, this morning. It is believed that it was left outside the property between 5.15am and 7.30am.
Three people are believed to have been involved in the theft. A van was also seen in the area around the time of the offence.
Sergeant Marc Nettleingham of Surrey Police, said: “The member of the public who found the statue, which is thankfully undamaged, had seen our appeal on Facebook.
“We are continuing to carry out a number of inquiries to identify the offenders responsible for this theft, which is particularly reprehensible given that it was presented to the school in memory of Sarah Payne and the investigation is ongoing.”