Sian O'Callaghan search officers make taxi appeal

Sian O'Callaghan and boyfriend Kevin Reape
Image caption Sian O'Callaghan's boyfriend Kevin Reape joined in the search for her on Tuesday

Police have made an "urgent" appeal to anyone who saw a taxi on the day Swindon woman Sian O'Callaghan disappeared to contact them.

Det Supt Steve Fulcher said a green Toyota Avensis estate had been seen between Swindon and Savernake Forest soon after her disappearance.

Miss O'Callaghan, 22, was last seen leaving the Suju nightclub in Swindon alone at about 0250 GMT on Saturday.

Her family said they "hope and pray that our beautiful girl is found soon".

Police have said they are "very close" to identifying the whereabouts of Miss O'Callaghan.

Specialist dog teams have been brought in to help search for her.

Search experts have been examining "hotspots" in the 4,500-acre Savernake Forest, near Marlborough in Wiltshire.

'Touched by support'

Det Supt Fulcher said: "I am urgently appealing for any witness sightings of a green Toyota Avensis estate with taxi markings seen between 0300 GMT to 0400 GMT and 1200 GMT to 2100 GMT on Saturday 19 March 2011 between Swindon and Savernake."

Image caption Miss O'Callaghan is likely to have a Tesco Clubcard key fob, a patterned front door key, and car key with yellow tape

He asked anyone who had seen the vehicle to contact the force immediately.

Wiltshire police are also appealing for information about items believed to have been in Miss O'Callaghan's handbag.

The bag is described as large and dark, with a beige flower on the side.

The spokesman said she was likely to have had items similar to a front door key with a "distinctive pattern", a black car key with yellow insulation tape, a Tesco Clubcard key fob, lip gloss and a yellow Kinder Egg plastic casing containing an orangey-brown squirrel with a felt belly.

He said she was also believed to have worn or had with her a DKNY watch with false diamonds and had been wearing a pair of brown boots.

Image caption Miss O'Callaghan was wearing brown boots

About 200 people attended a vigil for Miss O'Callaghan on Wednesday night.

A police spokesman said the reward to help find her now stood at £40,000.

In a statement released on Thursday, Miss O'Callaghan's family said: "We have been so touched by the support shown by the community that we wanted to express our thanks.

"The sheer numbers of people who have given up their time to help search for Sian and distribute appeal posters are overwhelming and we couldn't ask for better support from the public, police and media.

"We are aware of the reward that has been offered and are very grateful; we hope that this might help someone come forward with information to help the police find her.

"This is an extremely difficult time for us and we continue to hope and pray that our beautiful girl is found soon."

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