MURDER detectives are now investigating the disappearance of Croydon schoolgirl Shelley Pratt.
Although not yet officially a murder investigation, a dedicated "murder team" has been assigned to the case as the five-week anniversary of the 14-year-old going missing approaches.
A Met spokesman said the team has been handed the case because they have more recourses, expertise and are more used to making extensive enquiries.
The spokesman added calls continue to come in from the public while the force is growing increasingly "worried" about the disappearance.
CCTV images of Shelley at George Street tram stop in Croydon town centre at 9.30pm on November 8 – the day she was last seen – were released by officers last week.
It is not known if Shelley, who was on her own, boarded a tram or where she was heading. She was pictured wearing her school uniform trousers and a distinctive dark purple hooded jumper with the slogan "I love (heartsymbol) London." She is white and around 5ft 6in tall with long brown hair.
Anyone with information should call police 020 8721 4906.