It’s been reported that every forty seconds in the United States a child goes missing. That is 460,000 children missing every year. Of those missing children, 1500 of them are reportedly kidnapped. In England, there were about 1200 children abducted according to police reports. As a matter of fact, there has been a steady increase in abductions since 2002/2003 till date. One of those children abducted was Shannon Matthews, she was declared missing on the 19th of February, 2008. Around 6pm her mother, Karen Matthews, called the 999 to inform that her child was missing. The young girl was only 10 at the time.
Shannon Matthews Family Details
Shannon was the third child of Karen Matthews and Leon Rose, born on September 9, 1998 in Dewsbury. Leon and Karen split some three years later with Leon parting with her older brother in Huddersfield. For some reasons, Shannon didn’t get to see much of her father growing up.
Karen had seven children in all, at 28, she moved into a much spacious house in Moorside Estate with Shannon and two of her siblings who stayed with her. Her remaining children where in their father’s custody. Karen met Craig Meehan (18 year old ), a fish seller at one of the supermarkets in Moorside. After some weeks, Craig moved in with Karen and she soon became pregnant with her seventh child. Karen continued giving birth to kids not because she loved them but simply as a means to keep getting welfare stipends from the government. At 16, Karen fought with her parents, left home and didn’t see them for a long while after that. She later took Shannon to stay with her parents for weeks after she was born.
Shannon Matthews Kidnapped
Shannon Matthews was last seen by 03:10pm on 19/02/2008, at her school, Westmoor Junior School, Dewsbury Moor. She and her classmates had just visited the swimming pool and she decided to walk home as the school was half a mile from home. Later that evening, Karen called the police to explain her daughter was missing. The Police started searching for her with more than 200 officers involved.
Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan was the lead officer in investigating Sharon’s disappearance. The West Yorkshire Police interviewed motorists and searched 3,000 houses. The search team increased to over 250 officers and 60 detectives, roughly 10% of West Yorkshire police’s functional strength. 16 out of 27 special recovery dog in UK got involved in the search. The police were able to create a DNA profile of Shannon and design a family tree to aid their search and help pinpoint persons of interest in the case.
Shannon Matthews Lost And Found
The cops got an anonymous tip of Craig’s uncle who lived close but had not being active in the search. They got to his place and didn’t get any feedback from anyone, so the officers took down down doors to properly search the house. They searched the building for slight indications of human presence, opening doors and checking each room. In no time, opened a door that was properly locked, the room was filled with smell from cigarettes.
Suddenly, they heard a soft frightening voice coming from under a bed in the room. The officers tried lifting the bed before little Shannon came out from a drawer at the base of the bed. One detective Kettlewell immediately took her out of the room and asked about the whereabouts of Dononvan, he is under the bed she responded. Donovan was found in a small corner under the bed, he was arrested right there for alleged kidnapping
Shannon Matthews Confessions And Arrest
After his arrest, Shannon’s captor; Donovan in the Halifax police station narrated that Karen Matthews was the brain behind her daughter’s kidnap. He claimed she put the plan in motion for Donovan to hold Shannon at his house while she played the role of the grieving mother. When a reward was announced for her return and it was up to £50,000, they would come up with a plan to release her and split the money two ways. However, even though the reward was up to the amount, it was to too late for Karen to inform Donovan on the next line of action as he was arrested. Donovan informed the detectives that he was forced by Karen to hold her daughter and threatened she could contact people to kill him if he didn’t cooperate. He claimed he didn’t harm Shannon all through the period but cared for her by getting new clothes and toys. Donovan was later charged on the 17th of March with kidnapping, false confinement and involving in acts that pervert the course of Justice and was taking to prison after then. Karen was arrested on April 6 on suspicion of seeking to corrupt the course of justice, two days later she was charged on the same count.
Shannon on the other hand was taken by social services who changed her name to avoid unnecessarily troubles and adopted by a foster family.