THE Shannon Matthews investigation took another dramatic twist as the probe into the nine-year-old’s missing 24 days goes on.
Police swooped yesterday morning to arrest two more members of her large extended family.
Her stepfather’s mother and sister were detained in connection with Shannon’s disappearance.
She was allegedly abducted on February 19, but found more than three weeks later when police raided a flat at Lidgate Gardens in Batley Carr on Friday, March 14 – three weeks ago yesterday.
There they arrested 39-year-old Michael Donovan, who was later charged with kidnapping and falsely imprisoning Shannon. He is remanded in custody and will go on trial this year.
Donovan, formerly known as Paul Drake, is the uncle of Shannon’s stepfather, Craig Meehan, 22.
He was remanded in custody on Thursday accused of possessing indecent images of children.
The women arrested yesterday are Meehan’s mother, 49-year-old Alice Meehan, and his sister, Amanda Hyett, 25.
Hyett was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and Alice Meehan was arrested on suspicion of trying to pervert the course of justice.
During the large hunt for Shannon West Yorkshire Police mounted a huge investigation involving hundreds of officers and a team of 60 detectives.
The investigation is led by Det Supt Andy Brennan, from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide And Major Investigation Team.
In the light of the latest arrests Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik has praised the way in which the police have handled the continuing investigations.
He said: “The way the police have conducted investigations has been incredibly thorough. The important thing is that they are allowed to go about that task undisturbed.
“The effort, resources and commitment has been nothing short of exceptional. The investigation is now bearing fruit and it’s essential that people remain patient, stay calm, continue to provide information and leave it to the experts.’’ Š