Police investigating the disappearance of a teenage mum who vanished almost ten years ago were today searching a field where she kept HORSES.
Natalie Putt was last seen walking to a local shop when she went missing in September 2003 aged just 17.
Yesterday police diggers were excavating a paddock she rented where she kept a pair of horses three miles away from her home.
Residents in Himley, West Mids., said teams of police officers had been at the site, behind a former lodge, for two days carrying out painstaking searches.
Mechanical diggers and police vans were at the scene yesterday afternoon.
Sheena Hamilton, 52, who used to own the land, said she had been approached by detectives two months ago and was told they were re-opening the case.
She said: “I told them that Natalie had two horses she kept on the field and after she went the horses went too.
“Of course I was surprised to hear they are re-opening the case after this amount of time.”
The land is now owned by another person, who has had no involvement in the operation.
Mum-of-one Natalie, from Gornal, West Mids., went missing just 11 weeks after giving birth to her son, Rhys.
Half-sister Rebecca Coggins, who lives in Nottingham, said she hoped they may finally get answers on what happened to her.
She said: “It is upsetting because they are looking for her body but we need answers.
“I think we all know that it’s a possibility they may find her.
“At the end of the day something happened to her and it is good they are doing something to find answers.
“It has been very, very hard for us all. When someone dies you go through a stage of grieving but when someone is missing you are always in that stage.
“You never give up, it is really, really weird, it is like waking up every day in Groundhog Day.”
Since Natalie’s disappearance there have been numerous renewed appeals. including a nationwide appeal on BBC Crimewatch.
In 2010 an updated image of Natalie’s face, created using specialist computer software, was released.
It was created using photographs of her late mother Jennifer and sisters Lowri and Rebecca.
Jennifer died aged 41 in 1996 while dad David still lives at the family home in Lower Gornal, West Mids.
Mr Putt said: “We have still got hope but the longer it goes on the fainter that becomes.”