An investigation into what happened to an 11-year-old girl who went missing from foster care two years ago ended yesterday with police discovering her living in a cupboard.
The now 13-year-old had been ‘kidnapped by her parents’ and hidden with relatives in Porto.
She has now been removed to an institution in Lisbon, explains tabloid Correio da Manhã, giving no indication whether the child was compliant in her two-year ordeal.
The history of the case suggests otherwise. The girl was removed from her biological family as a result of “continuous mistreatment”, says the paper.
She was then snatched back (it is not explained how) after being fostered with a family in Cascais.
The family reported her disappearance to authorities which have been trying to find the girl ever since, says CM.
The paper explains that whenever authorities visited the house where the child was being kept, she was made to hide in the cupboard which had been designed for her to sleep in.
The youngster was eventually found and freed on Tuesday morning at 7am.
The relatives who have been hiding her (described as an uncle and aunt) are now due to appear in court.
They apparently have children of their own, says CM.
Neighbours have described their surprise at the situation, saying they ‘never saw’ the hidden child and had no idea she had been living with the family for so long.