The two boys who went missing from a school in Larnaca on Tuesday morning, have been found. Following a tip off, police raided an apartment one kilometer away from the school were the boys had disappeared seven hours earlier.
According to cyprusmail, Police said they have detained a 35-year-old man without providing further details.
Reports said the man is a Greek Cypriot and that the children were found in an apartment building not very far from the school.
Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said the suspect had no criminal record nor any previous run-ins with police, adding that money was the possible motive.
“Through correct analysis of the information, we eventually got a conclusion. The conclusion we all wanted,” he told reporters.
The father of one of the boys thanked everyone for their help.
“A big thank you for the mobilisation of all the public authorities,” he said. “Everyone was exceptional and congratulations for what they have done. Nothing else.”
Themistoklis Doglis and Philippos Stamatakis, both 10 years old, disappeared from their school in Kamares short before the bell rang for the classes. Reports wanted a man to have introduced himself to the children as their new teacher and asked them to help him unload some books from his car.
The boys are not related to each other but they are friends. Their families are Greeks who work in Cyprus.
A huge police operation with road blocks and helicopters was launched, with police officers going door to door to inform locals and distribute leaflets with the boys’ picture.
After the operation, Police thanked citizens for the help they offered. “Everyone added to the happy ending of the two boys’ adventure and to the suspects’ arrest.”
Ένα μεγάλο ευχαριστώ σε όλους τους πολίτες για την ευαισθησία που έδειξαν από την πρώτη στιγμή κ για τη βοήθεια που πρόσφεραν στην Αστυνομία. Ο καθένας συνέβαλε με τον τρόπο του, ώστε να έχουμε αίσιο τέλος στην περιπέτεια των δύο παιδιών κ να οδηγηθούμε στη σύλληψη του υπόπτου. pic.twitter.com/Bw0xtD75py
— Αστυνομία Κύπρου (@Cyprus_Police) September 25, 2018
Local media reported that “the boys were in a stage of sedation when they were found.”
Sigmalive notes that the man suspected to be a kidnapper had possibly also an accomplice.
In the Alert issued earlier, the police was seeking a 50-60 years old man.
After their release the boys were transferred to the hospital for medical tests.
The citizens’ mobilization was immense and “everyone considered the missing boys as if they were their own children,” Cypriot media report.