Missing Derry teenager found safe in Cork

 

A Derry teenage girl, who had been missing for almost a fortnight, returned home yesterday having been located in Co Cork.

Police had feared Louise Shiels (15) from Garvagh may have met an older man she met on the internet when she was reported missing on August 3rd. Friends had confirmed that she was a regular user of internet chatrooms.

She had made contact with her family by letter last Monday. The letter had a Cork postmark and Louise was believed to have been seeking accommodation at Cork B&Bs over the last few days.

It is understood Louise called her parents on Saturday from Charleville after spotting her picture in a newspaper, along with their plea for her to get in touch.

Her father, Roy Shiels, said she was tearful during the call and had not been sure where she was, but that she thought she was in Cork. He asked her to describe buildings nearby and whether any local business had a phone number outside it. A beauty salon had.

"I told her to go straight in and make herself known and everything would be alright. Then I phoned the number she gave me and spoke to some lady and asked her for the name of the town. She must have wondered if I was mad.

"I told her my daughter had gone missing from home and would be walking in her front door within a few seconds and would she please take care of her until the police arrived. I think she thought it was some kind of hoax but then Louise walked in and they took it from there."

He phoned the PSNI in Garvagh who contacted gardaí in Cork. "A short while later a policeman from the Republic phoned and told me he was with my daughter and would I like to talk to her."

She returned to her parents and younger brother early yesterday morning. Mr Shiels said yesterday the family did not know yet why Louise left home.

"Hopefully, we'll get to know more in the next few weeks. For now all that matters is that Louise is home and safe."