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Fear stalks Newmarket street

PUBLISHED: 10:47 13 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:27 03 March 2010

SURROUNDED by a wide flank of open countryside and criss-crossed with hedges, nobody but a local would turn into Studlands Park Avenue in Newmarket.

Even they get lost in the rabbit warren of homes - made up of a thousand families, many of them American, from the nearby Lakenheath base.

SURROUNDED by a wide flank of open countryside and criss-crossed with hedges, nobody but a local would turn into Studlands Park Avenue in Newmarket.

Even they get lost in the rabbit warren of homes – made up of a thousand families, many of them American, from the nearby Lakenheath base.

The leafy roads and children's playing fields nestle between two-storey houses. The lines of lock-up garages could hide any clue behind their closed doors.

But today residents were waiting, with the fear Jessica and Holly's abductor may live among them, or know the area.

Taxi driver Ian Webster saw a car driving erratically turn into the street, from the A142, at about the time the girls went missing.

The driver of the green car was 'thrashing' his arms as if trying to grab a mobile phone from the dark-haired back seat passenger, whose dark hair matches Jessica's description. There was also a child in the front passenger seat.

The driver is described as a white man aged between 38 and 45 with black, wiry, unkempt hair and Mediterranean, tanned skin.

If the green metallic car - thought to be a Vauxhall Vectra or Peugeot 405 -, did contain Jessica and Holly their abductor drove down this road knowing three possibilities.

Firstly the abductor spotting the taxi behind him had pulled off the A142 from Soham in order to lose him.

Secondly the abductor's destination was the estate itself.

Lastly he knew the area and was using the road as a cut through, either turning left at the end to Exning and then back into Newmarket, or right back onto the A14. He could also have doubled back cutting through the estate rejoining the A142.

Today fearful parents run the gauntlet of cameras and reporters, as they take their children on summer day trips.

Mother-of-four Tracey Rice, who runs a children's day care centre, said: "I am expecting to hear from the police today.

"This is any parents' biggest nightmare. The idea of this person being local is terrifying."

Resident John Cole said: "Our fear is this man knew the area. You have to know the area even I still get lost here and I have lived here for six years."

His wife Gwendoline expressed the fears and hopes of all parents when she said: "This is so scary. I wish the families well. Let's hope everything turns out well."

Police must now sift through records of any car fitting the abductor's description.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders say there are 103 green four door Vectras and 71 green four door Peugeot 405s registered to drivers in the Cambridgeshire area.

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