Missing teen found safe in Laguna

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2017 09:35 AM | Updated as of Dec 24 2017 02:27 PM

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The 17-year-old girl who was reported missing Thursday in Muntinlupa City was found safe in Laguna province on Christmas eve.

Ica Policarpio, whose disappearance prompted her family to issue a nationwide appeal on social media, was last seen in a coffee shop in Sucat, Muntinlupa City.

Authorities found the Grade 12 student crying at a carinderia in San Pablo City, Laguna. A barangay council woman took her in before calling her family early Sunday, her father Rufino Policarpio told reporters.

Investigators found no sign of kidnapping in the teen's disappearance, Metro Manila Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said in a press conference.

"As of now, wala talagang signs of kidnapping, based on our investigation doon sa mga pangyayari," Albayalde said.

"Ang tinitingnan lang natin dito kung may nag-udyok sa bata na maglayas or pumunta dito, pumunta doon (What we're looking at is if there was someone who persuaded the teen to run away or go here or there)," he added.

The girl has yet to talk about what happened, said her father.

"Hindi po namin siya talaga kinakausap at pinapakuwento dahil we respect her privacy, we respect her state, kaniyang psychological condition," he said.

(We have not talked to her yet or asked her to talk because we respect her privacy, we respect her state, her psychological condition.)

"Masaya na ho kami na kasama namin siya pero ang totoo, since 2 hours ago, hindi ko pa siya talaga nakausap ng masinsinan. At sa bagay na ito, hinihiling lang namin ang kaunting pang-unawa, pasensya ng madla."

(We are just happy that she's with us now but the truth is, since 2 hours ago, I have not talked to her thoroughly. In this regard, we ask for some patience, understanding from the public.)

In a Facebook post, meanwhile, Policarpio's sister Bea expressed her family's joy in finding the teen.

 

"We found Ica. Words cannot express our joy in this moment. Our family can never thank you enough, each and every one of you, for storming the heavens so we could be given a second chance to be complete," Bea Policarpio's post read.

"Investigation is still ongoing, but be assured we will be verifying relevant facts via official media sites. Kindly wait for that and respect our family's privacy at this time. In [the] meantime we just wanted to ease everyone's worry and let you all know that she is okay, she is unharmed, and she is with us. Thank you Lord. Thank you everyone for helping us #FindIca," she said.

-- With a report from Noel Alamar, ABS-CBN News