DETECTIVES hunting the killer of schoolgirl Milly Dowler launched a new appeal for witnesses on Tuesday after a Yateley man in his 30s told them that he saw two men and a schoolgirl in a field by Yateley Heath Woods on the day she went missing. Milly's remains were recently discovered in the woods .

The driver said that when he travelled south along Minley Road at about 4.45 pm on March 21 he saw an older dark coloured car the size of a Mondeo or Escort parked at an angle to the road at the gateway to Minley Farm. Further down the road he saw a large white van parked at 90 degrees to the road. A man who walked from the front of the van to the open driver's door is described as white, medium build and in his 20s. He was clean shaven with short, light brown hair and had a roundish face.

When the witness returned 15 minutes later he saw the girl and two men. She was wearing a dark blazer and grey skirt or dress. One of the men was immediately behind her and the second about six feet away.

He then overtook a slowly driven medium sized dark car with two young men inside. Then at the top of Minley Road near Pennyhill Caravan Park he saw a grey or silver Volvo being driven by a grey haired lady, who had a female passenger with long dark hair.

Det-Chief Supt Craig Denholm, who leads the hunt, described the witness's account as "very significant indeed" although the police did not know for certain if the girl was Milly.

He appealed for those who recognised themselves from the descriptions to contact the police so they could be eliminated from the investigation. They might also have seen something that would help.

Anyone with any information should ring the incident room on 01372 471212 or Crimestoppers (anonymous and free or charge) on 0800 555111.