LARNACA, Cyprus – The latest: The two 11-year-old boys that went missing from their primary school in Larnaca, Cyprus have been found and both are safe and in good health, the Cyprus police announced on Tuesday. A 35-year-old man has been taken in for questioning in connection with the case, police said.
Police in Larnaca and around the island of Cyprus were searching Sept. 25 for two school boys who vanished from the Kamares state primary school after they and three others were called by a man to help them put items in their car, raising fears of an abduction.
According to Greece’s state news agency ANA-MPA, the boys’ parents are from Greece and they are friends.
The two children, Themistoklis Donglis and Filippos Stamatakis, both aged 11, reportedly went to school as usual in the morning but later their whereabouts were unknown. ANA-MPA and Kathimerini Cyprus said the man who reportedly lured them told the students he was a teacher.
While five boys responded to his call, when the school bell rang, it became clear that two, described as good friends, were missing.
Media reports said the unknown male, aged between 50 and 60, could have something to do with their disappearance. He was seen inside a gray saloon car with one of his arms immobilized in a splint. His height was described between 1.7-1.75 meters (5’6”-5’8”).
There was no report on whether there were adult monitors on teachers in the schoolyard at the time or as part of regular security procedures.
The newspaper said their parents were at the school along with police officers and that a helicopter was being used in the search as parts of the island were put on lockdown for the urgent hunt.
Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris was also said to be on his way to the school.
Police are asking member of the public to contact CID Larnaca at 24.804.024 or 24.804.016 or dial the citizen hotline at 1460 if they have any information regarding the incident.
Roadblocks in the area and police officers near checkpoints were also being set up while seaports, airports and other points of departure were being checked and officials in other districts on the island were put on high alert.