THE sister of Shannon Matthews’ kidnapper claims she urged cops to check him during one of the country’s biggest ever manhunts.
The family of Mick Donovan have spoken out for the first time since cops began their search for Shannon Matthews in 2008.
In a shocking new documentary, The Man Who Took Shannon, due to air on Channel 5 next Thursday, she claimed: “Not one of them believed me when I said, ‘Go to his house.’
“The day Shannon went missing, I was listening to the radio and it said a child’s gone missing, named her.
“I knew he had her.
“All I could think… he’s done it once before… What if he has…?
“I called the police and said, ‘Check out my brother, please’. I got no response whatsoever from them… they didn’t care or believe me.”
According to her, the £3.2 million search could have been ended within the first 24 hours, but instead it took a total of 24 days to find Shannon.
A second relative, who also wished to remain anonymous, said he became suspicious of Mick after he asked to borrow children’s DVD’s.
Most read in The Sun
He claimed he told Crimestoppers after the search started: “I thought it were a bit strange.
“I believed he had Shannon, so went round. He wouldn’t let me in.”
Police eventually found the nine-year-old drugged and held hostage under Donovan’s bed in his flat at Lidgate Gardens, Batley Carr, West Yorks.
The discovery came after the force listened to this concerned relative after he told them: “You want to go see Mick Donovan… he’s related to Craig Meehan [Karen’s ex].”
Investigations soon uncovered Shannon’s mother, Karen Matthews, and Donovan had planned the kidnapping in order to be awarded £50,000 for “finding” her.
The 33-year-old was sentenced to eight years in jail at Leeds Crown Court alongside Donovan back in 2009 for false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
But Matthews, labelled as Britain’s Worst Mother, was released in 2012 after serving just half of her sentence.
Her accomplice also got out in the same year, but the 40-year-old was recalled shortly afterwards.
Although his sentence finished in 2016, his family have confirmed he is now in a psychiatric facility.
However, West Yorkshire Police has strongly denied Donovan’s sister’s claims.
A spokesman said they “conducted a thorough investigation into the kidnap.
“The records do not support this account of a call made to the police on 19/02/2008.”
A Crimestoppers spokesman said: “Our charity takes crime information completely anonymously. No personal details are ever asked for, or stored.”