Concerns for Teen Athlete Missing in Manchester

21 September 2011, 09:58

A missing teenage athlete from Cameroon has been found safe and well but officers are continuing the search for her team-mate who is still missing.

Balana Marie Michel and Foumena Marie Gaelle, both aged 16, went missing since on Wednesday 14 September 2011.

They were last seen together at Manchester Airport and were at Terminal 3 to take a flight to return Cameroon via Brussels after being in the Isle of Man to compete in the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The girls had represented their country at the games.

The flight to Brussels was due to leave Manchester at 6.30am but the girls did not get on the plane.

Foumena handed herself in at Grey Mare Lane Police Station at 10.30am on Saturday 17 September 2011. She is now being cared for by social services.

Balana is still missing.

It is believed she had a black Puma Rucksack bearing the Cameroon flag, £10 in cash but no further money, bank cards or passports, as the coach had the team's passports.

She only speaks French and has no friends, family or contacts in the UK.

Detective Constable Andy MacNab, based at Manchester Airport CID, said: "The girls walked off of their own free will but we were extremely concerned for their welfare - and still are concerned about Balana. She has little or no money and absolutely no one to turn to in this country.

We are relieved that Foumena came forward and we have ensured she is getting the care and support she needs from professionals.

We would urge anyone who has seen Balana or knows where she is to contact us.

It is quite likely she is feeling frightened and confused in a city she does not know - if you can hear or see this appeal: please walk into a police station like Foumena did, you are not in any trouble with us and we can give you some help and support." 

Anyone with information is asked to call officers at the airport on 0161 856 0250.

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