POLICE have arrested the partner of Tia Sharp’s grandmother on suspicion of murder after officers searching for the missing 12-year-old found a body at the house where she was last seen alive.
Scotland Yard launched a manhunt for Stuart Hazell after confirming he was missing following the discovery of a body at the home he shared with Tia’s grandmother Christine Sharp on the New Addington estate near Croydon, south London.
The 37-year-old man was being held in custody last night after being spotted by a member of the public in the nearby borough of Merton.
The week long search for missing Tia turned into a murder inquiry yesterday as forensic teams searching the house found a body.
Last night the Metropolitan Police faced questions over why the discovery was not made earlier and how officers had not known Hazell’s whereabouts just days after he was interviewed.
The family of Tia Sharp were informed of the discovery of a body which, last night, had still to be identified.
Hazell, who was interviewed by police as a witness on Wednesday and released, had claimed Tia set off for the Whitgift Centre in Croydon last Friday having spent Thursday night alone with him while her grandmother was at work.
Speaking on TV he had described her as “a happy-go-lucky golden angel”.