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Missing girls found thanks to eagle-eyed police and digital enquiries

TWO missing teenagers were found during the early hours of the morning thanks to digital enquiries and two eagle-eyed police officers.

Dyfed-Powys Police received a call reporting two friends – aged 13 and 14 – missing at around 11pm on Monday, May 31.

The girls were said to have missed the train they were expected to catch home from Carmarthen, and were no longer contactable by phone.

Officers immediately made their way to the train station to speak with staff in an attempt to establish if the girls were still there, or which direction they had left in.

Sergeant Stuart Davies said: “The parents’ concern was obviously growing for the girls, who were expected home at around 9.30pm and had not been seen or heard from an hour-and-a-half later.

“We tasked all available resources to look for them and ensure they were found safely – with searches carried out on the ground, as well as CCTV and phone enquiries completed.”

Initial enquiries at the train station gave officers a more clear description of the girls and what they were wearing, and the suggestion that they had arranged for a taxi to take them home.

Calls were made to taxi companies in the area, however it was quickly established that the girls had not been picked up.

Footage from the force’s CCTV cameras were reviewed from the control room, with the girls spotted walking towards the town centre at 9.30pm. Further digital work established that their phones had last connected to a mast near Tesco, giving a more focussed area for officers to concentrate on.

Sgt Davies said: “While these enquiries gave us more information to work on, the time that had lapsed since the girls were last seen in person or on CCTV was significant, and they were graded as high risk missing people due to their age.

“A number of other calls were also being received by the force control room during this time, which required immediate police responses. To ensure we were able to deal appropriately with the search, we called in colleagues from the Ammanford team to assist.

“At one point we had 15 officers either on the ground or in the control room carrying out enquiries to find the girls.”

At 2.30am, officers spoke with people in the town centre who thought they had seen the pair an hour earlier in Nott Square.

They were finally spotted by two PCs in the castle grounds at 2.50am – more than five hours after they had been due to arrive home.

“This was an excellent spot by our colleagues, who found the girls safe and well and took them home to their very relieved families,” Sgt Davies said.

“The way colleagues carried out this search was a superb example of teamwork, starting with very limited information, but showing how diligence and thorough investigation leads to a successful outcome.”

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