THREE men have been arrested on suspicion of kidnap after a 13-year-old girl from Barnsley went missing 175 miles from home.
Carmelle Hepi was reported missing to South Yorkshire Police just after midnight on Sunday.
The local police force contacted counterparts from the Met after establishing that she had gone to Barnsley Interchange and then on to Sheffield before travelling to London King’s Cross St Pancras, and would have arrived in London just after 6pm on the Saturday.
Enquiries have so far led officers to believe that she went to a birthday party in London before leaving in a car at 11pm.
She is also believed to have attended addresses in Croydon, Lewisham and Purfleet in Essex.
Officers are in regular contact with Carmelle’s family in Barnsley and have spoken to the people who were at the party.
While there is no information at this time to suggest that Carmelle has come to serious harm, due to her age, vulnerabilities, and concerns around who she may be associating with, the investigation to locate her is being led by detectives from Specialist Crime.
Three males, all aged in their 20s, have been arrested on suspicion of kidnap.
All remain in custody at this time.
The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Wood, said: “Carmelle, I want you to know that you are not in any trouble whatsoever.
“Our one and only focus is making sure that you are safe and well.
“Please call 999 and speak to us, or go to a police station, and we will get you back home safely.
“Your family are desperately worried about you and while we’re supporting them as best we can, they need to know that you’re ok and to come home.
“They cannot rest until you’re back with them.
“My team are working round the clock, supported by our colleagues at South Yorkshire Police and local officers.
“As well as the arrests made, we have spoken to multiple people, searched a number of addresses and officers are conducting extensive CCTV enquiries, along with various other leads we are pursuing.
“Members of the public can help us locate Carmelle.
“If you have seen Carmelle, or you know her and have information about where she is or has been, it is imperative that you contact us.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a friend who has heard or seen something in passing - you won’t be in trouble.
“What matters is that you contact as you could have significant information to help us find a missing teenage girl.”