The "stunned" family of a missing girl still hopes she will "come back alive" – despite her parents being charged with murder.
Bernadette Walker, 17, was reported missing from her Cambridgeshire home seven weeks ago.
But the police have now opened a bodyless murder investigation and even charged their Peterborough parents Sarah, 37, and Scott Walker, 50, with murder.
Detectives who led the search have drawn their attention to three garages and a small lot in the north of town.
Today Scott Walker's sister, Bernadette's aunt, said she and other relatives were in & # 39;Total disbelief & # 39; but I still hope she could come back alive.
Bernadette Walker (pictured), 17, was reported missing in Peterborough on July 21, after not being seen for three days
Scott Walker, 50, and Sarah Walker, 37, were charged with the murder of their daughter
"We're amazed and hope the police got it wrong," she told Sun Online from a house on the outskirts of Peterborough, Cambs.
“Little did we know they were being charged until we heard it on the news. The police didn't tell us anything, they didn't visit us. The family is in shock. It's awful. & # 39;
Police raided Bernadette's family home in Peterborough's Millfield neighborhood last week, but now cordoned off garages on Churchfield Road, Walton, north of town, about a mile from Bernadette's house.
A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said officials were also searching open land in Cowbit north of Peterborough as part of the investigation.
Meanwhile, Bernadette's maternal grandmother, Pat Dickinson, 60, said she still hopes the "fun and bubbly" teenager is found alive.
Police raided Bernadette's family home in the Millfield neighborhood of Peterborough last week, but have now cordoned off garages on Churchfield Road, Walton, north of the city
A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said officials were also searching open land in Cowbit north of Peterborough as part of the investigation
She described her as a "normal teenager" who was very good at drawing and had even learned to knit from her grandmother.
“I'm so confused about what happened. I just hope she's somewhere safe and making contact, ”she said.
Ms. Dickinson last saw her granddaughter in June, shortly after her baby sister was born.
Sarah and Scott Walker, both from Century Square in Millfield, appeared in a virtual court yesterday and were put on remand to appear at Peterborough Crown Court tomorrow.
They reportedly told police that they last saw her on July 18 when she ran out of her car.
Bernadette Walker, 17, pictured with her father Scott Walker, 50. He has now been charged.
Police were seen outside the Bernadette family's home in Millfield, Peterborough, on Sunday while a man and woman were held on suspicion of murder
Ms. Walker said that almost two days later, at 1am on July 20, her daughter texted her saying she would be "soon" returning to the family's five-bedroom home in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire .
Bernadette's parents reported her missing to the police the following day on July 21 when they told officers they hadn't heard from her.
The mother of nine, Ms. Walker, who had a baby girl about six months ago, was handing out posters in Peterborough for information about her missing daughter, who loved gothic and punk music.
In August, Ms. Walker told PeterboroughMatters.com, “I cannot eat or sleep properly. I miss and love my eldest princess so much that she misses her little sister, who has already learned to smile and coo. & # 39;
Forensic specialists were seen getting in and out of the vehicle along with a police dog handler and a spaniel sniffer dog
An investigation into an unincorporated homicide was opened on Friday after all searches failed, police from the Major Crime Unit in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire said
She announced that she had been out of touch with her daughter since 1:00 a.m. on July 20 when Bernadette wrote to her that she was on her way home.
Police officers stood guard in front of the family's modern row house, which was cordoned off with police tape.
Forensic experts were seen getting in and out of the vehicle with a police dog handler and their spaniel sniffer dog.
A neighbor of Bernadette's parents, who did not want to be named, said today: “You are really nice and always smile.
“They are a good family and they had just had a baby girl. There were a lot of children – but they seemed to handle it well. They always looked out for their children
I spoke to them after Bernadette disappeared to wish them all the best and they were really disappointed.
The police stood guard in front of the 17-year-old's house today. On Friday, Cambridgeshire Police opened an unorganized murder investigation
Bernadette is described as being of medium height with half brown, half ginger blonde hair
I sent her a message when news of the arrest of a suspect man came out and she said she had just come back from making a statement to the police. I just told her that I was hoping everything would go well. & # 39;
DCI Jerry Waite said, “Given the length of time Bernadette has been missing and there are concerns that she may have been harmed, we decided yesterday morning to open this as a homicide investigation.
"While we hope we find Bernadette alive and well, there is every possibility that it won't. So my team and I will do everything we can to find out what happened to her and to bring all offenders to justice put."
Bernadette ran out of her parents' car on July 18, contacted her family two days later, but was reported missing the following day.
Bernadette has not accessed social media since and no friends have heard from her.
Her family originally thought they might have brought some spare clothes, but have since found the items under the schoolgirl's bed.
Bernadette is described as being of medium height with half brown, half ginger blonde hair.
She has piercings on her face and two homemade tattoos.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Bernadette or what happened to her is asked to contact the police either via the online web chat facility or on 101 and stating Operation Penshaw.
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