A MOTHER and daughter arrested twice by detectives investigating the alleged abduction of Shannon Matthews have been released on bail.
Amanda Hyett, 25, and her mother, 49-year-old Alice Meehan, were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. They – along with Hyett’s sister, 29-year-old Caroline Meehan – were questioned at police stations in West Yorkshire.
Mrs Hyett and Mrs Meehan were arrested and bailed last week over nine-year-old Shannon’s abduction.
Mrs Hyett was originally questioned on suspicion of assisting an offender while Mrs Meehan was questioned on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Police said all three women had now been bailed pending further inquiries on allegations of perverting the course of justice.
Mrs Hyett is the neighbour of Shannon’s mother, 32-year-old Karen Matthews, and the sister of her 22-year-old partner, Craig Meehan.
He is remanded in custody charged with possessing indecent images of children and was due before Dewsbury magistrates today.
Alice Meehan is the mother of Craig, Amanda and Caroline.
It is understood the latest arrests are procedural and not a major development in the case.
Karen Matthews was remanded in custody on Wednesday when she appeared before magistrates accused of repeatedly concealing information about the whereabouts of her daughter.
Shannon vanished on February 19 after failing to return home following a school swimming trip.
Police discovered the shy and timid youngster 24 days later in the base of a bed at an address just a mile from her home in Dewsbury Moor.
Matthews was charged with perverting the course of justice and child neglect and was remanded in custody until April 16 when she will appear via a videolink at Leeds Crown Court.
The charge of perverting the course of justice alleges she “repeatedly concealed information in relation to the whereabouts of Shannon Matthews in interviews and other contacts with officers with the West Yorkshire Police and claimed to have no knowledge of her whereabouts”.
Police have urged local residents not to take the law into their own hands and not to jump to conclusions about people involved in the inquiry. Last night officers met with 30 local residents to assure them everything possible was being done to find out the truth.
A total of five people have now been arrested in connection with the alleged abduction of Shannon.
Michael Donovan, of Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr, was arrested on March 14 after Shannon was found in his flat.
He was later charged with Shannon’s kidnap and false imprisonment and is in custody awaiting trial at Leeds Crown Court on November 11.
The 39-year-old, formerly known as Paul Drake, is the uncle of Matthews’ partner Craig Meehan.
West Yorkshire Police have estimated the cost of overtime and other additional costs incurred in the search for Shannon is around £1m. This figure does not include the wages of the officers who would have been working anyway.