Tia's step-grandad Stuart Hazell was caught on shop CCTV hours before arrest (From This Is Local London)
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Tia's step-grandad Stuart Hazell was caught on shop CCTV hours before Merton arrest
The step-grandad of Tia Sharp remains in police custody this morning after being arrested in Merton yesterday.
Stuart Hazell was missing for several hours before being arrested following a tip-off from a member of the public, on Cannon Hill Common.
Police were seen searching the Common with a police sniffer dog unit hours before his arrest.
The 37-year-old has been detained on suspicion of murder, after a body was found in the house he shares with Tia's grandmother Christine Sharp, in The Lindens, New Addington, yesterday afternoon.
Shortly before his arrest, Mr Hazell was caught on CCTV in a convenience store buying cigarettes, vodka and lighters.
Chloe Bird, 11, who lives in Cannon Hill Lane, saw him enter the shop.
She said: "He was in that shop, he was crying and saying he wants Tia back. Then he turned around to me and asked 'Have you seen Tia?' I asked if he meant Tia Sharp and I said 'No sorry.'
"He said 'If you see her tell her to come home,' and he left the shop."
Shopkeeper Prasanna Jayakumar served Mr Hazell in the Mini Market in Cannon Hill Lane, about three hours before his arrest.
She said: "He was in here at 5.12pm. I was serving him and he was talking to me for a good 10 minutes. He was crying and asking me to help them find the little girl.
"He was saying to me 'I can't go home without her. I'm going to find her tonight,' he was in a bad way.
"He went out and about six minutes later brought the same things again- two half litres of vodka and two lighters. Then I knew it was him, then he left and I was calling the police.
"The police were in here to take a copy of the CCTV. I was just being nice to him, I didn't want him to know we knew him."
Police have confirmed a post mortem is expected to be held later today.
Last night Tia's parents remained in their home, but friends came in and out of their third floor flat in Buckingham Court, Lancaster Avenue.
One neighbour said: "The police are telling us to calm down, it's alright for them, they don't know her like we do."