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Missing child Svetlana Murphy found safe and well, as 18-year-old male arrested following CRI alert

Gardaí said that the 14-year-old girl will be re-united with her family tonight.

Image: Niall Carson

GARDAÍ HAVE CANCELLED their Child Rescue alert, as missing teenager Svetlana Murphy has been found safe and well in the Belfast area.

She is currently in the custody of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and will be re-united with her family tonight.

An 18-year-old male has been arrested by the PSNI and is currently in custody. The PSNI said that he is “currently assisting police with their inquiries”.

Gardaí had issued the CRI in the early hours of this morning in which they appealed for help in finding the missing 14-year-old girl.

She had been reported missing by her father on Tuesday from her home in Blackrock, Co Louth. Investigations had determined that she was in the company of 18-year-old Nojus Maculevicius who is from Dundalk.

They had been spotted in Newry, Co Down on 19 April at approximately 7pm and also in the greater Belfast area at 5.35pm yesterday, but then the trail went cold.

Gardaí had been liaising with their PSNI colleagues as they believed the pair were still on the island of Ireland.

Early this morning, Superintendent Liam Geraghty, of the Garda Press Office had made a plea for help in finding Svetlana and Nojus.

Launched in May 2012, the Child Rescue Ireland alert system was introduced to help trace missing children in cases where officers believe there is a serious risk to the child. 

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It followed a call from the European Union for member states to introduce such national systems. This is the eighth CRI alert to be issued since then.

Strict criteria need to be met before a decision is made to issue a CRI alert. 

An Garda Síochána said that it is not providing any further information, and appealed for the privacy of the family to be respected.

“We would like to thank the public, media and other agencies for assistance provided during this alert,” it said. 

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