Developing Story: The two missing boys have been found and are in good health. Police are questioning a 35 year old suspect. Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou mentioned that Police is working on the assumption that the suspect's motive was to obtain ransom. The suspect had no previous criminal record.
(Click here for an update to the story)
According to reports the children were held for 7 hours in an apartment building in Larnaca. Neighbours alerted the Police of the man's presence in a ground floor apartment after noticing that the suspect had removed the vehicle registration plates from his car.
An unknown male wearing an arm splint asked the boys to help him place some items inside his car, telling them he was a teacher
The two boys are now being treated at hospital. Eyewitnesses said that the children appeared to have been drugged. The suspect is currently being questioned in the aforementioned apartment.
As it happened
Authorities have issued a missing child alert: Two 11 year olds, Themistoklis Donglis and Filippos Stamatakis are missing since this morning from Kamares Primary School in Larnaca. If anyone has information regarding their disappearence please contact the European Hotline for Missing Children at 116000 or the Citizen's line at 1460.
President Anastasiades, currently in New York, instructed his government to double their efforts in order to locate the missing children.
Larnaca police went on high alert Tuesday morning following reports that two school boys went missing at Kamares state primary school.
The two children both aged 11 reportedly went to school as usual in the morning but later their whereabouts were unknown. Reports also said an unknown male appears to have asked the boys to help him place some items inside his car, with five children running to the man’s aid initially.
He reportedly also told the children that he was a teacher.
When the school bell rang, it became clear that two children were missing, identified as two good friends, 11-year-olds Themistoklis Donglis and Filippos Stamatakis.
Media reports said the unknown male, aged between 50 and 60, could have something to do with their disappearance. He was seen inside a grey saloon car with one of his arms immobilized in a splint. His height was described between 1.70 and 1.75m.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, the parents of the two children are currently at the school, where police officers are present while helicopters are taking part in a search and rescue mission. 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 ther citizen hotline at 1460 if they have any information regarding the incident.
Road blocks in the area and police officers near checkpoints are also taking part in the mission to find the suspect and the two boys. Sea ports and airports are also under strcit orders regarding the incident, while officers in other distrcits throughout Cyprus have also been put on high alert.