filipa lourenço.jpg

PJ finds missing Seixal 13-year-old “safe and sound” in Lisbon

Details are being kept to a minimum but 13-year-old runaway Filipa Lourenço has been reunited with her parents at their home in Corroios, Seixal, after a three-week absence in which PJ detectives worked round-the-clock trying to find out where the child had disappeared to.

The only ‘clue’ was a text message to a schoolfriend at the beginning of February saying she would be spending “a few days away” with a mystery boyfriend.

But when Filipa went missing after setting out for school on Monday, February 15, no one could be sure who the boyfriend was.

Police went through reams of text messages, social media entries and interviews with schoolmates as they also tried jogging teachers memories with photographs of Filipa’s potential suitors.

On Monday, the hunt was still considered “clueless”, according to national tabloid Correio da Manhã, but by Tuesday at 11am something had changed and led police to an address in Lisbon from which Filipa is understood to have “left willingly” in the company of her boyfriend, also described as a “young man, but older than Filipa”.

As to the rest, we may never know. The only important factor is that the second runaway in a week has been brought safely home thanks to timely police work.

Filipa’s parents have this far refused to talk to the press, but reports suggest she had never before “given any problems”, and the family is not in under the supervision of child protection authorities.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com