SCORES of people have called a hotline set up by the father of schoolgirl Genette Tate in a bid to solve the mystery of her disappearance 18 years ago.

Mr John Tate, 54, organised the 24-hour confidential line, 01823-601444, at his home near Taunton, Somerset.

Papergirl Genette was 13 when she vanished on her round in a lane near the then family home in Aylesbeare, east Devon, in 1978.

Mr Tate claims child killer Robert Black, currently serving 10 life sentences, could hold the key.

Mr Tate is seeking information about Black's movements. It has been claimed he had been in the area at the time. Black murdered three girls, and attempting to abduct a fourth.

The Genette mystery is Britain's longest missing persons inquiry. No body has been found.