Prayers for safe return

TODAY Newmarket churches are offering counselling and support to a community devastated by the news that Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman could be hidden in the midst.

TODAY Newmarket churches are offering counselling and support to a community devastated by the news that Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman could be hidden in the midst.

Pastor Kevan Crane, from the Newmarket Community Church on the Studlands Park Avenue estate, said: "We are offering up prayers for the safe return of Holly and Jessica. We have dedicated a space in our prayer room for people who want to come in to think of them.

"We are offering support to the local community in counselling or help for anyone that might be affected. We are praying for their safe return home to where they should be with their mum and dad.

"The idea that the abductor may be from this area is a frightening one for the community, our only hope is that Holly and Jessica are alive and in no danger."

Police who arrived in the area shortly before midday, said finding the dark green saloon car, which was reported to have had a man struggling with two children in, is a priority.

But according to officers switchboards are already jammed by members of the public reporting similar vehicles.

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Sergeant Mark Newman, of Cambridge Police, heading a team of officers currently conducting house to house enquiries on the estate, said: "There have been thousands of reported sightings of green cars across the county. We have to prioritise the vehicles."

The mobile police unit set up on the edge of the A142 roundabout is not intended to stop motorists but for residents to report any suspicious sightings.

The house-to-house inquiry on the estate, which contains lock up garages and industrial units, will be similar to earlier questionings in the girl's home town of Soham.

Sgt Newman said: Our questions will centre on sightings of the car."

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.

Today fearful parents ran 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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