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Desperate mother of missing Portimão boy reveals he wants to become a Chef

The mother of missing 15-year-old Rodrigo Lapa from Portimão says her son is studying to become a chef and is “liked by everyone at school”.

Speaking to the Resident this morning, mother Célia Barreto says Rodrigo was a “good boy”, “liked by all”, and couldn’t see any reason for anyone wanting to hurt him.

In a desperate plea, she calls on anyone who has information or has seen Rodrigo to alert the police authorities.

The youngster was last seen leaving home at 7am on Monday to catch a bus to his school in Estômbar, where he attends a vocational cooking course. But whether he actually boarded a bus is still unknown and PJ police are investigating.

The boy’s mother also denied any troubles within the family, and revealed that Rodrigo’s father Sérgio Lapa, from whom she separated five years ago, lives “just 20-30 kilometres away from us”.

Rodrigo lives in Malheiro, Portimão, with his mum and his six-month-old sister from another father, though Barreto confirmed she is single now.

Yesterday, the desperate mother told TVI she feared “something bad happened” to her son.

“He’s a very smart boy, he wouldn’t just go into a car with anyone,” she said.

And as he did not show any changes to his behaviour, his mother claims, she fears his disappearance wasn’t voluntary.

“If he’s done something he shouldn’t have, I want him to think about his sister who loves him very much and is very small, and his mother who misses him very much and only wants him to come home,” she told reporters as she struggled to hold back tears.

Célia Barreto has been distributing missing posters throughout Portimão while the news of Rodrigo’s disappearance has been widely shared on social networks.

Anyone with any information about Rodrigo – particularly if they may have seen him on Monday, should get in touch with police.

PJ Portimão (282 405 400) | PSP Portimão (282 417 717) | GNR Portimão (282 420 750) | GNR Lagoa (282 380 190).

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