Date: 7 Apr 2000
Sarah Benford went missing from a care home in Northampton in April 2000.
A murder enquiry was opened three years later.
She had been staying at Welford House children's home in Welford Road, Northampton. However, she absconded in early April 2000 and went back to Kettering.
She was described as a troubled teenager who had a history of running away.
At the time she disappeared she had been involved in prostitution and drugs and was possibly addicted to heroin and was thought to have been working as a prostitute to fund her habit.
She was last seen by her mother in Kettering town centre on 6 April 2000, a couple of days after she had absconded from a care home.
She was later seen in a variety of places including Almond Road, Highfield Road and Cherry Road in Kettering. In Kettering she had lived with her family in Havelock Street. As well as Welford House children's home, she had also spent time in Raven House, Tiffield Children's Centre.
When she was last seen she had been wearing patchwork dark blue jeans, an orange fleece, a black Puffa jacket, cream trainers and had been carrying a navy and green rucksack.
The police said that they thought that she had been murdered in the early days of her disappearance.
Eight arrests were made in relation to her murder, but no one was charged.
A search was also carried out in 2003 during which a number of caravans were removed. A number of houses in Kettering were also searched across 2003 as well as a house in Wales and a number of people were arrested but released without charge.
Gardens were also dug up.
In March 2016 20 people were interviewed and as result a woodland in Warkton was searched. The search produced a handgun which had been there for some time but there was no evidence to link the gun to her murder. It was said that the area had been used by friends of Sarah Benford to hide stolen goods and other items. The police said that it indicated how important the wood was to her investigation.
The police said that they had followed over 5000 lines of enquiry.
She was 5ft 7in tall and had blue/grey eyes. She also had a self-made tattoo of a cross on the top of her left arm.
In November 2021 the police said that htey were going to excavate a 70m by 70m area in Northampton in a search for her after recieving significant intelligence, later stating that they were confident that they would find her body. However, on 30 November 2021 the police said that the search had drawn a blank.