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Police extend search for missing 10-year-old

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11:14 CEST+02:00
Police remain without leads in the case of the ten-year-old girl who went missing from a playground in Svenljunga in southern Sweden on Friday, as the search entered its fourth day on Monday.

Västra Götaland police have been joined by 60 people from the home guard as the the search for the missing schoolgirl, named as Klaudija, was extended on Monday morning.

"We have also opened an investigation into suspected kidnapping. But this is a routine measure in order to conduct interviews with relatives and not lose the tempo of the investigation. We currently do not suspected any offence," said superintendent Ulf Hallberg who is leading the search.

Aside from the home guard resources, around ten police, most with sniffer dogs, are engaged in the search. A police helicopter also took part in the search over the weekend.

"The conditions are despite everything, favourable. We have mild dry weather and temperatures do not go below zero at night," Hallberg said.

The police have decided to discontinue use of the helicopter and its thermocamera as they were receiving lots of erroneous responses. Hallberg has instead deployed the resources in a ground search.

The girl was at a playground in the town on Friday with a group of friends but failed to return home. Police were alerted to her disappearance at 9pm after the girl had been missing for two hours.

Police have so far not received any witness reports over the disappearance.

The girl is a member in a family of asylum seekers who received a deportation order last week.

"But there are currently no indications that the disappearance has anything at all to do with that. We are working on the premise that it is a regular missing persons, which is serious enough," Hallberg said.

The wider search will continue for the duration of Monday until nightfall, after which police will continue without the help of volunteers.

The police are following a so-called MSO (managing search operations) method, developed by the police forces in Canada and the USA to more effectively search for missing persons.

"MSO has several models which we can have a framework for how we look for the girl. For example how far a ten-year-old can move within a certain amount of time under different conditions," said Ulf Hallberg.

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