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Day to think about Daniel

PUBLISHED: 17:25 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 July 2010

Mark Boggis

A PLANNED 24-hour fundraising fun night is set to raise cash and keep the memory of a missing seven-year-old alive.

When Great Yarmouth youngster Daniel Entwistle vanished at the start of a sunny bank holiday almost five years ago, a five-month police investigation involving more than 200 officers and costing almost £420,000 was launched - but Daniel was never found.

A PLANNED 24-hour fundraising fun night is set to raise cash and keep the memory of a missing seven-year-old alive.

When Great Yarmouth youngster Daniel Entwistle vanished at the start of a sunny bank holiday almost five years ago, a five-month police investigation involving more than 200 officers and costing almost £420,000 was launched - but Daniel was never found.

Since that tragic day on May 3, 2003, there has been more heartache for his parents - father David and mother Paula split up.

With the “active police investigation” into Daniel's disappearance closing in August 2003, this week Mr Entwistle told the Mercury that “the case is now officially closed” after his “special little boy” was never recovered.

But in an effort to remember his son, Mr Entwistle - who now lives in Lowestoft - is hoping people will back his efforts to raise money to keep a memorial garden going at Daniel's former school.

Daniel, a Greenacre First, Middle and Nursery school pupil was described by his headmaster at the time of his disappearance as “a delightful little boy, always with a ready smile”.

And in his memory, the school unveiled a memorial garden, which Mr Entwistle is now raising funds for its upkeep.

Next Saturday, Mr Entwistle has teamed up with The Falcon public house in Lowestoft High Street to hold the fun night.

“It will be on all-day, with games of darts, pool and raffles all taking place and all money going into a charity box for the memorial garden.” he said.

Looking to raise cash for flowers, plants and maintain the garden, Mr Entwistle said: “I play for the pool team at the pub, and everyone is welcome to come along and join in the fundraising with the pool and darts teams.”

A trip to the shops proved to be the last time Daniel was seen, and on August 11, 2003 police revealed the inquiry would “remain active for the monitoring of developments and information,” but no more officers would be assigned solely to the case.

During the investigations, the incident room received more than 1,200 messages resulting in at least 2,500 actions being undertaken and 575 statements completed, police revealed in August 2003.

A freedom of information request uncovered by The Journal on the internet has found that between May 4, 2003, and August 16, 2003, Norfolk police spent £419,107 investigating Daniel's disappearance. It was broken down into £342,555 spent on staffing costs, £43,379 on transport costs and £33,173 on supplies and services.

Norfolk police also revealed that 203 police officers and staff members were “assigned to investigation, information gathering and designated search teams” in relation to the five-month operation.

The fun day starts at 11am on Saturday, February 23.

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