The Kidnapping of Sara Payne

Mackenzie VanSickle

Sara Payne went missing at her grandparents’ home in Kingston Gorse, West Sussex in July 2000. She was eight years old when she was going back home with her brother after getting hurt when she was token.
Sara and her siblings Lee (13), Luke (12), and Charlotte (6) were playing in the corn field behind their grandparents’ home. They started to play a hide-and-seek when Sara fell and gotten hurt. Lee and Sara started to walk back to the house. Lee then heard Luke screaming because Charlotte had also fell. When Luke was distracted Sara continued to walk forward. This was the last time she was seen alive.
Sara’s body was found on July 17,2000. 17 days after she went missing. Her body was naked and 15 miles from the place she was last seen.
Lee told the officers he had seen a man by a white van before Sara’s disappearance. He described the man as “He was quite scruffy, looking like he hasn’t shaved for ages. He had white stubbles on his face and little bits of gray hairs, he was greasy.” The man lee was describing was Roy Whiting. He had just been arrested for car theft and a driving offense.
Forensic experts found evidence linking Whiting to the murders. A ball was found next to Sara body, it contained 200 fibers of material. 2 of which were a match to a sweatshirt inside of the Whiting van. Inside that same van there were two t-shirts. A piece of blonde hair was found on them. DNA proved that the hair belonged to Sara. Whiting was arrested and charged with 40 years in jail.
Sara Payne’s parents passed a law called the Sara Payne Law. The law makes it to where the families in a neighborhood would be contacted when a sex offender moves in near you.