Child Rescue Ireland alert for missing girl (14) stood down after she is found safe

Svetlana Murphy found safe and well in Belfast

Svetlana Murphy

Svetlana Murphy

 

Svetlana Murphy, the 14-year-old girl the Garda and PSNI had been searching for has been found safe and well. She was in the care of the PSNI in the North late on Thursday night and was about to be reunited with her family.

Gardaí had issued a Child Rescue Ireland (CRI) alert for her just after midnight into Thursday morning and 10 alerts were issued through the day before Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, confirmed just before 10.30pm on Thursday night she had been found safe and well.

The 14-year-old schoolgirl from Blackrock, Co Louth, had been missing from her home since about 4pm on Monday and was in the company of a man known to her, Nojus Maculevicius (18).

They travelled to Northern Ireland in Mr Maculevicius’s car and had been spotted in both Newry and Belfast, though the last reported sighting of them or the car was in Belfast early on Wednesday evening.

Gardaí became concerned for Svetlana and a decision was taken to issue a CRI alert just after midnight on Thursday, which effectively began an intense 22-hour period of publicity urging her or Mr Maculevicius to contact gardaí or their own families. Members of the public were also asked to contact gardaí or the PSNI if they saw the two teenagers.

“Svetlana Murphy has been located safe and well in the Belfast area. She is in the safe custody of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and will be re-united with her family tonight,” the Garda said on Thursday night.

The statement added that a man had been arrested and was in custody in the North and that no further information would be supplied.

“An Garda Síochána appeals that the privacy of the family be respected at this time,” the Garda statement said. “We would like to thank the public, media and other agencies for assistance provided during this alert. No further media action is required at this time.”

CRI alerts were introduced in 2012, the first one was issued in 2013 and to date eight have been issued in the Republic. They are notices issued to the media and on social media seeking information on the whereabouts of children missing, abducted or whose whereabouts are unknown in cases where there are concerns for the safety of the children.