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Coral’s schoolbag found

Coral’s schoolbag found

Police searchers have found missing six year old Coral Burrow’s schoolbag.

Detective Inspector Rod Drew, head of Operation Reef, says the bag was spotted during an aerial search of Abbot’s Creek which feeds down the Featherston side of the Rimutaka Ranges, through the back of the town and into Lake Wairarapa.

"We’re satisfied the bag is Coral’s navy backpack and we’ve advised her family of the find," Mr Drew says. "The backpack contained Coral’s lunch which doesn’t appear to have been eaten and some schoolbooks."

Mr Drew said the bag’s discovery below the Featherston rail bridge late yesterday afternoon was a significant development in the inquiry.

"It’s important but only in that we’ve found her bag. We haven’t found Coral and we still don’t know where she is.

"Finding the bag reduces the likelihood of Coral simply wandering off because of the distances involved. We can’t exclude the possibility that she was taken to the Abbot’s Creek area rather than going there of her own volition."

The bag was discovered about three kilometres from the school, and about 150m from the edge of town.

Police believe Coral’s bag may have travelled some distance down Abbot’s Creek, and are conducting aerial and ground searches in the area from Double Bridges at the base of the Rimutaka Hill Road downstream towards the edge of Featherston township.

"We’re appealing for sightings of people seen in the area or vehicles parked on Tuesday along the main highway, near Double Bridges, scenic lookouts or adjoining roads," Mr Drew says.

People are urged to call the freephone number 0508 677 333 or 0508 OP REEF.

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