The nine-year-old was restrained in an apartment for 24 days.
One young girl from Yorkshire, UK had to go through a lot of pain because of her greedy and inconsiderate mother. Shannon Matthews, who no longer goes by that name went missing in 2008. The little girl was just 9 years old. Her mother Karen was seen on TV, begging for the return of her daughter.
The authorities did not ignore the cry of the grieving mother. They involved over 250 officers and 60 detectives to find the missing girl. About 3,000 different spots were searched and about 1,500 drivers were asked if they had any information about the girl. According to The Sun, about $4.5million (£3.2million) was spent to find the missing girl. Additionally, friends and family too joined the search. Despite best efforts, the girl was not found because she was hidden away by her own mother.
Karen and her accomplice, Michael Donovan, had staged the kidnapping of Shannon to claim the reward money of over $69,500 (£50,000). Michael was the uncle of Karen's then-boyfriend, Craig Meehan.
According to Metro, the young girl was kept as a prisoner at Michael's apartment. She was restrained with the help of elastic straps tied around her waist. The young girl could use the bathroom only when Michael left the apartment. Moreover, she was forced to follow a lot of rules to prevent the authorities from finding her.
As the authorities continued with the search, some of Michael's neighbors informed the police of hearing the "tiny footsteps of a toddler." Detective Constables Nick Townsend and Paul Kettlewell decided to act upon the information. They broke into Michael's apartment. "There was a deathly silence, then I heard a little girl’s voice. She said, 'Stop it, you’re frightening me.' I think Donovan had his hand over her mouth. I knew the voice had come from within the room. I couldn’t work out where it was coming from," recalled Nick, according to Mirror Online.
Shortly, Paul who heard noises from the base of the double bed rescued Shannon. Michael too was dragged out from the base of the divan bed by the officers. The man immediately confessed the role played by the Karen. He said, "Get Karen down here. We’re sharing the money – £50,000."
Twenty-four days after the missing was reported, police found the girl who was drugged and tied up her own mother. The mother who put up a convincing act in front of the whole country was sentenced to eight years. Michael was also given a similar sentence.
Halfway through her sentence, Karen was released. She stated, "I’m not Britain’s worst mum. I didn’t kill anybody. None of it’s true. I’m on the edge. It makes me want to kill myself but I’d never do that. I’m scared I’ll die lonely and alone," according to Mirror Online.