The moment Karen Matthew’s mask slipped: Video reveals instant police officer KNEW Shannon’s blubbing mother was involved in her daughter’s kidnap during ‘strange’ interview
- Shannon Matthews was nine when her mother planned her kidnap in 2008
- Detective Inspector Chris Walker said he found Karen Matthews’s interview odd
- She was convinced that Shannon was warm and safe and ‘alive and well’
A policeman has revealed the moment he first suspected Karen Matthews was involved in her daughter’s disappearance.
Detective Inspector Chris Walker said last night it was a remark during an interview in Dewsbury station had immediately sounded alarm bells.
Matthews – who was in on the kidnap plot – had insisted missing Shannon, nine, was in a ‘nice warm environment’ despite claiming no knowledge of her whereabouts.
But in fact she had been taken in a staged abduction cooked up by her and her boyfriend’s uncle Michael Donovan.
The warped conspiracy had been dreamt up to try and claim any reward money offered over the little girl’s disappearance, believed to have been inspired by an episode of Channel 4 hit Shameless.
Detective Inspector Chris Walker, of West Yorkshire Homicide and Major Enquiry team, revealed her found it bizarre that Matthews seemed completely confident that Shannon was warm and safe.
Shannon Matthews was nine when she was kidnapped in a plan devised by her mother
Shannon went missing in March 2008 on her way home from a swimming lesson in Dewsbury
She told officers: ‘It just feels empty now, the house, without her. It’s not like Shannon.
‘She’s timid, she’s scared of the dark and everything. So that’s how I know something’s wrong.
‘She’s out there somewhere in a nice warm environment but the person who’s got her is not coming forward which is what we’d like really.’
Shannon went missing in March 2008 on her way home from a swimming lesson in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
Karen was seen crying on the news as she pleaded with the public to help her find her daughter.
Police launched a £3.2million search for missing Shannon, only to find that she had been tied up and drugged in Donovan’s home for 24 days.
He and Karen Matthews planned to ‘discover’ Shannon after a while and claim a £50,000 reward for her safe return.
It was later revealed that Karen was going out with Donovan’s nephew Craig Meehan.
Mr Walker told a new Channel 5 Documentary that it seemed as though Karen was ‘personally convinced’ that Shannon was with someone else and was ‘alive and well’.
He added: ‘It did raise suspicions in my mind that she had some idea of what had happened to Shannon and at that time there was absolutely nothing to link her to Shannon’s disappearance.’
Detective Inspector Chris Walker, of West Yorkshire Homicide and Major Enquiry team, revealed her found it bizarre that Karen seemed completely confident that Shannon was warm and safe
Detective Constables Nick Townsend, 61, and Paul Kettlewell, 68, were the officers who found Shannon.
Mr Kettlewell said: ‘I was elated. As we went down the stairs it was like carrying my own child.’
Mr Townsend added: ‘Nobody ever thought we’d see Shannon Matthews alive again… It’s hard to describe the emotion. You just want to cheer.’
The officers had visited Donovan’s flat and were told that a downstairs neighbour had heard ‘tiny footsteps’.
Mr Walker (pictured) told a new Channel 5 Documentary that it seemed as though Karen was ‘personally convinced’ that Shannon was with someone else and was ‘alive and well’
Mr Townsend said: ‘That’s when my spidey senses really started tingling. I couldn’t believe what I had heard.’
They found an elasticated strap with a noose on the end which Donovan would put around Shannon’s waist so she could go to the toilet but not leave the flat.
Shannon was taken into care and given a new identity.
Mother-of-seven Karen and accomplice Donavan were found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice in December 2008.
Both were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to eight years behind bars.
The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews, airs on Channel 5, February 10 and February 11 at 9pm.