Police have said they conducted three searches of Tia Sharp’s grandmother’s house in New Addington, prior to a body being found there this afternoon.

Commander Neil Basu said: “Clearly there will be many questions about the investigation into Tia’s disappearance.

“When police investigate cases as difficult and challenging as this, it is important that we do not just focus on one line of enquiry.

“For example, we had over 60 reported sightings of Tia, 800 hours of CCTV footage to examine and 300 plus calls into the incident room. All of these lines of enquiry were in the process of being followed up.

“A number of searches took place at the address. When Tia was first reported missing, officers searched her bedroom as is normal practice in a missing person’s enquiry.

“A further search of the house took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, by a specialist team. This was then followed by another search of the house by specialist dogs on Wednesday lunchtime.

“What we now need to establish is how long the body had been in the place where it was found. This will be subject of the ongoing investigation and it would be wrong to jump to any conclusions until all the facts have been established.

"Our priority is to support the family of Tia at this distressing time and identify the body which has been discovered, as quickly as possible."