Shannon Matthews and her family hit the headlines in 2008 when the nine year old disappeared, but where is Shannon Matthews now?
Why will Shannon never speak publicly? And does she see her mother Karen?
The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews is a new Channel 5 documentary series.
It investigates the sick joke Karen Matthews played across the nation.
Here is everything you need to know about the infamous fall.
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Who is Shannon Matthews?
Shannon Louise Matthews was born on September 9, 1998.
She attended Westmoor Junior School at Dewsbury Moor.
She was a normal little girl until she involuntarily rose to fame in the UK when she was “missing”.
Shannon ‘disappeared’ on February 19, 2008 in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
Compared to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, it became a major police operation for missing people.
It was the largest police investigation in the area since the Yorkshire Ripper hunted.
The police spent millions on the operation.
At the time, her mother, Karen, and partner, Craig Meehan, made numerous public appeals.
Was Shannon Matthews Found?
Shannon was safe and sound after 24 days and was discovered on March 14, 2008.
It turns out that Karen planned the kidnapping with her friend’s uncle, Michael Donovan.
Karen and Michael sedated Shannon and hid her in a sofa bed in Michael’s house.
Michael had learning difficulties with an IQ only about half the national average.
The police arrested Michael on the spot and charged him with kidnapping and false imprisonment.
They also arrested Karen, then 44.
She has been found guilty of kidnapping, false detention and distortion of justice.
Shannon and Michael planned to release Shannon after a while and receive the £ 50,000 reward.
A jury found Karen Matthews and Michael Donovan guilty.
You were sentenced to eight years in prison after a trial in Leeds Crown Court.
They served half their sentences and were released in 2012.
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Why will she never speak publicly?
Shannon Matthews will never speak publicly due to a lifelong reporting restriction.
The High Court granted Shannon lifelong anonymity.
Shannon’s identity and whereabouts are and will remain a secret.
Her siblings were also given lifelong anonymity due to a court order prohibiting their identities from ever being revealed.
Karen has seven children, including Shannon, from five different fathers.
All have been looked after and given new identities and are protected for life.
Where is Shannon Matthews now?
Shannon is currently 21 years old and lives under a new identity.
She was given a new identity and family and her location can never be disclosed.
In 2018, her grandparents June and Gordon Matthews spoke to the Daily Mail and announced that they had recently seen a picture of their granddaughter.
They described her as “beautiful”.
Does Shannon still see her mother Karen?
Shannon has no contact with her mother, Karen, or her grandparents.
June and Gordon Matthews were too old to take responsibility for the children.
Shannon was given a new identity determined by the court.
Her grandparents occasionally receive updates from Social Services, but have no contact with her.
The disappearance of Shannon Matthews on Channel 5
The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews is a two-part documentary.
It investigates the disappearance of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews in Yorkshire in 2008.
The investigation gripped the nation.
The series features exclusive interviews with Shannon’s best friend at the time, Megan Aldridge.
It also speaks to the police officers who found her and members of the local community.
The Shannon Matthews disappearance begins Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 9 p.m. on Channel 5.
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