The search for missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp has turned into a murder investigation after the girl's body was found Friday at her grandmother's home near London.
Scotland Yard is looking to question Stuart Hazell, the boyfriend of Tia's grandmother, 46-year-old Christine Sharp, in connection with the girl's death, according to the Telegraph. Hazell also briefly dated Tia's mother, Natalie Sharp, 30, according to the Daily Mirror.
Tia went missing July 3 from her grandmother's home in New Addington. She had been staying with Christine Sharp when she disappeared, the paper reported.
Hazell, 37, told authorities he left Tia alone in the house to buy flip-flops. A manhunt is underway to catch the man suspecting with being involved in Tia's death, according to the Telegraph. Scotland Yard is urging anyone who comes in contact with Hazell not to approach him and call 999 instead.
The day before Tia's body was found, Hazell denied having any involvement in her disappearance.
"Did I do anything to Tia? No I bloody didn't. I'd never think of that," he said, according to the Daily Mirror.
Investigators had been at Sharp's property in their search for Tia in the past week, and it's unclear why they didn't find the girl's body earlier. Scotland Yard also did not comment on exactly where in Sharp's house Tia's body was discovered.
"Questions will be asked about why the body was not found earlier in the week because we know police have searched the house in a small way at least twice with sniffer dogs," said Martin Brunt, crime correspondent for Sky News. "Of course we don't know if the body has been there throughout the week - the likelihood though is it has been."
Neighbors who scoured the area searching for Tia said they felt "betrayed" when her body was found.
"We've been searching woodland, we've spent two nights in the rain searching woodland, delivering leaflets," Eileen Minogue told Sky News. "I feel for the friends and cousins, they've been trying to find support, trying to find her."
Another neighbor, 20-year-old Chloe Hickie, said she felt "sick" after learning the Tia's body was found.
"I didn't want to say it but I had a gut feeling because she hadn't been seen for a week," Hickie said. "It makes me feel sick to my stomach. I am in absolute shock."
A post-mortem exam of Tia's body is expected in the coming days.