Matt and Mel made their way to joint CID and uniform briefing. They walked into the briefing room, Matt went and sat next to Mickey whilst Mel sat with the rest of uniform. Max was stood at the side of the room along with Smithy, Jack, Jo, Neil and Callum.
"Right thank you everyone for coming away from all your other jobs but at the momeit this is top priority. I'm going to pass you over to DS Carter to explain the situation." Meadows addressed the room.
"Right, this is Lydia Phillips," Max indicated with photo on the whiteboard. "She is 13-years-old and has now been missing for just over 2 hours. Her mother last saw her in the back garden of her house, she went upstairs and when she came back down Lydia was gone. None of her local friends or the local shop have seen her. She was seen wearing white vest top, grey hoodie and red converse trainers. She is approximately 5 foot 5, she has light brown hair about shoulder length. Her only distinctive feature is her eyes."
"Her eyes, sarge?" Ben piped up.
"She has one green eye and one brown eye. Matt you went and spoke to the family about her friends."
"Yeah. Popular, her closest friends live down the road, Erin and Niamh Collins, no relation to myself before we say anything. As well as her friend, Scarlett Roberts, that lives on the road behind you can access the road from alleyway just down from the Phillip's home. I have received confirmation that the twins are currently at home but Scarlett is currently on holiday and has been for the past week so we have no way of speaking to her."
"The shop owner, Hugo Rogers, said Lydia was a regular customer often came in and chatted with Hugo and his wife. She hadn't been in today. The Phillips were a close family, Lydia wasn't unhappy at home nothing out the ordinary when he visited them last week. I've also been on the phone to the phone to Deansgate Comprehensive, the school is open today and the headteacher is in despite it being the summer holidays still so we are able to go down and talk to find out about Lydia." Mickey informed everyone.
"We still have to consider the possibility." Max said challenging.
"Sarge, the Phillips weren't involved they were devastated when we told them." Mel replied.
"We still have to consider the possibility PC Ryder. Right I'm going to be SIO on the investigation and Roger you will be FLO. Matt, Mickey I want you to go talk to these friends" Max said.
"Sarge." Roger nodded in agreement.
"Inspector Smith will be coordinating the door-to-door. Guv." Max turned and left the room.
"Right everyone. You'll been given a copy of the picture on the board and a description. We'll be focusing on Asquith Road and the surrounding roads. Right everyone in the yard in 5 minutes. Roger you'll go back down in the area car. Come on then." Smithy told his relief.
"We'll go speak to the girls and then we were going to go to Deansgate Comprehensive to find out some more about Lydia at school. You got this Matt. Not many people get a case like this on their first day." Mickey praised Matt.
"Thanks Mickey." Matt smiled wryly.
They both got into the car and followed the uniform van out of the yard as they drove down to Asquith Road. They pulled outside number 46 they got out of the car and walked up the pathway. Grace knocked on the front door. A tanned lady with brown hair answered the door.
"DC Webb and DC Collins. Sun Hill. Is it possible to speak to Niamh and Erin Collins?" Mickey asked.
"Why what have they done?" The twins mother asked.
"They've done nothing Mrs Collins. It's about their friend, Lydia, she's gone missing and we were wondering if they would be able to provide us any information on where they might have gone." Mickey explained.
"Of course. I'll just go and fetch the girls. They'll be more than happy to help. They'll be devastated when they find out. You can wait in the living room." The girls mum invited them.
Grace and Matthew sat on one of the sofas. The first of the girls came in and Matthew noticed that she had purple nail varnish and a purple hair tie. She introduced herself as Niamh. She was followed by her sister who had blue nail varnish and a blue hair tie and she introduced herself as Erin.
"Hi I'm Mickey and this is Matthew or Matt for short" Mickey began. "We just need to ask you some questions about your friend Lydia as she has gone missing. We were wondering if you could tell us about what she was like at school. Whether she made friends that her parents didn't know about and if she was popular.
"Lydia was incredibly popular she was well liked by most of the people in the year there was no-one who hated her." Erin started.
"Well almost everyone." Niamh said.
"Yeah…almost everyone. There was a group of about 5 of them," Niamh nodded in agreement. "That seemed to have a thing against Lydia these past few months. None of it was true. They are just your normal bullies, but everyone stood by Lydia. They knew it wasn't true." Erin said.
"What were these girls saying about Lydia. Must have been some pretty nasty comments if everyone rushed to defend Lydia." Matt asked.
Niamh and Erin looked at each other solemnly, what they about to say was clearly upsetting.
"It all started with this guy…Aidan. He was one these girls' boyfriend. Basically, Aidan and Lydia were in a few of the same lessons together and they became closer started talking and working together on some school stuff. This girl became jealous of Lydia and thought that Aidan and Lydia were seeing each other behind her back. They weren't some lie that her friend started. But they started a campaign against, but no-one believed it. Aidan left, moved to someone down south to be closer to family. Lydia still talks to him every so often." Erin told the story and Niamh agreed.
"Can you think of anyone that would want to harm her or might have reason to have a grudge?" Matt asked.
"No, she was so popular." Niamh said almost in tears.
Erin hugged her sister.
"Thank you, girls. You've been a great help. We are getting leave you alone. We will do our best…I promise you that." Matt reassured the girls.
Mickey and Matt thanked the girls mum and warmed them that they were really helpful. They saw themselves out. They got back in their car.
"Do you buy it?" Matt asked.
"That Lydia was as popular as they were making her out to be. Nobody is that popular my sister is their age and she is always in scraps."
"Some people are. Let's go the school and see what her teachers have to say."
They pulled up outside of Deansgate Comprehensive School, the car park was mainly empty with a few cars. They must have come in to get ready for the new school year. They walked up to the main reception and waited in the reception for someone to walk past.
"Can I help you two gentleman?" A man came from behind them.
"DC's Matthew Collins and Mickey Webb. We're looking for a Michael Nixon to talk to him about the disappearance of one the school pupils, Lydia Phillips." Matt explained as they showed the man their warrant cards.
"Ah yes. I heard you were coming in today. I'm Michael Nixon by the way. If you follow me this way I'll take you through to my office where we can have a chat about Lydia."
Matt and Mickey followed Michael into his office. They found out exactly the same information that they had got from Erin and Niamh. Lydia was extremely popular amongst both staff and pupils. She was incredible bright and was well on her way to being a great success when she sat her GCSE's. The only issue that Lydia was the bullying campaign surrounding Aidan with almost everyone siding with Lydia. Michael apologised for not being much help and the two DC's returned to Sun Hill.