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Dalarna girl declared kidnapped

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Dalarna girl declared kidnapped
07:10 CEST+02:00
The 10-year-old girl who disappeared from Stjärnsund outside of Hedemora in Dalarna in central Sweden on Saturday has still not been found as of early Monday morning, and police have now classified the case as a kidnapping.

Around 200 people--civil defence, the Home Guard, police and volunteers--searched for 10-year-old Engla Höglund, on Sunday afternoon.

A nationwide bulletin has now been issued.

Höglund's mobile telephone was turned on until Sunday night and had been registered by a mobile-network tower.

But late Sunday evening it was no longer possible to pick up any signals from the phone. It's unclear whether the batteries ran out, that the telephone was shut off, or if it was damaged by the rain which fell in the area Sunday night.

Overnight into Monday a few search dogs, four heat-sensitive cameras, and police were out looking for the girl, but turned up nothing.

At the same time, police have began in investigation as to whether Engla was the victim of a crime.

The girl's family, friends, and others were questioned during the day on Sunday. There are currently no suspects.

Engla's father, who lives in Spain, has not yet been reached by Spanish police. According to police it is possible that he is not currently in Spain, nor in Sweden.

“But there are no suspicions against him,” said Karl-Göran Karlsson of the Dalarna police.

Engla Höglund had been to football training in Stjärnsund and left her teammates to cycle the five kilometres home around 2pm on Saturday afternoon. She never turned up and her bike was found 500 metres from her home in the small town in northern central Sweden.

The ten-year-old called her mum on her mobile phone as she was leaving training just before 2pm.

They spoke several times as she cycled home and their last conversation took place as Engla was close to Rönnösund near Klarängarna. When Engla's mother tried to contact her 30 minutes later, there was no answer.

A massive search began soon thereafter.

Police were able to identify tyre tracks taken from the area near where Engla's bike was found thrown in the bushes a few metres from the side of the road. The tracks are currently being analyzed.

Around 600 metres from where the bicycle was found, Engla met a group of people familiar to her as she was cycling home. One in the group had a new camera and took a picture of the missing girl. The picture has been handed over to police and is being used to help in the search for her.

50 volunteers were initially involved in the search before the area was sealed off by police at around 7pm so as not to disturb the search dogs.

The driver of a light green Volvo said to have been near the football pitch on Saturday came to police of his own free will the following day. The man was visiting his parents and it not a suspect in the case, according to police.

Many nearby residents voluntarily participated in the search for Engla, said Eva Larsson, principal at the local school now serving as a central meeting place for volunteers.

“The atmosphere is tense but many want to help. I haven't participated in the search myself, but have instead remained at the school the entire time. The municipality has started a crisis group which is ready to step in,” she said.

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