A ten year old girl who had gone missing from the Baduraliya area two years ago was yesterday found by the police in Kuruwita while allegedly being kept by a man in his forties.
She was referred to the Judicial Medical Officer by the Ratnapura Magistrate for a report as to whether she had been sexually abused. Police are now on the look out for the man who has fled the area.
The crime had come to light following investigations by the Kuruwita police on a telephone call received on the police emergency line that a ten year old girl had been stranded.
She had been just 8 years when she went missing while studying at a school in the Magura area in the Baduraliya police division. She had been taken away by a man while she was on her way to school. It had been revealed that the man had come to their house on earlier occasions as well.
The man had taken her away saying her father was being treated at the Ratnapura hospital after falling off a tree. The man who took her away had been staying with her at several estates in Ratnapura, Balangoda, Kahawatte and Batathota. The man had obtained line rooms to stay in those estates by saying that the girl was his daughter and her mother had died. It had come to light that he had locked her up in the room during day time to go to work and returned in the evening and stayed with her. According to the girl the man might have been in his mid or late forties.
However, by the time police found the girl the man had gone missing. He had come to a private estate in Kuruwita with the girl several months ago and a week ago had left the girl at a nearby boutique promising to come back after attending to an emergency matter. But he had not turned up even after the lapse of a week. The girl was taken into custody by a police team which included women police officers led by Kuruwita OIC IP R.P. Siriwardena and crimes OIC SI C.M.G. Chandrasekera.
She had told police about her parents but had only vaguely recalled details of her school. The police had been able to locate her parents by providing the information to the State Intelligence Services and the education ministry.
The mother of the girl had told police that they had given up hope about their eldest child and even conducted memorial almsgivings on behalf of her.
The girl had revealed to police that she was not allowed to speak to anyone after she was taken away by the suspect. During the first few months he had even tied her inside the line room when he was away at work. It had also been alleged that she had been sexually abused by the suspect man.
The girl was produced before the Ratnapura Magistrate who ordered that she be left in the care of a children’s home. (Ajithlal Shantha Udaya)