THE mother of missing youngster Shannon Matthews today pleaded: “Darling, please come home”
As 200 police officers stepped up the hunt for the Dewsbury nine-year-old, Mrs Karen Matthews made her tearful plea.
Chief Supt Barry South said they were investigating the possibility that Shannon may have told some of her friends that she was planning to run away from home.
Speaking for the first time outside her Dewsbury Moor home last night, Mrs Matthews wept as she begged her daughter to come home.
She said: “Shannon, you are a princess in every way, come home.”
She said it was the first time Shannon had disappeared and reassured her that she did not need to worry about returning.
“Shannon, you are not in trouble, darling, please come home.
“This is the first time Shannon you’ve done it, we don’t know why baby, but we love you.”
Describing her daughter, Mrs Matthews said: “She is loving, caring in every way possible, you could not wish for a better child.”
She added: “One thing Shannon does not like is dark, cold and everything else.
“I just want her home where she belongs with her family.
“If anyone’s got Shannon, please return her home safe.”
She continued: “It’s breaking everybody’s heart just to see any news that’s on the telly, everybody’s getting upset about it.
“Shannon please come home, please, I’m begging you baby, come home.”