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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Police to search properties in bid to find missing teenage mum Catalina Covaci

Police searching for a missing teenage mum and her baby son have spoken to the last person known to have seen her.

Catalina Covaci photo
Catalina Covaci and Ricardo

Officers last week issued a CCTV photo of Catalina Covaci talking to a woman at Manchester Piccadilly train station.

That prompted four phone calls, including one from the woman herself.

Police say she "provided useful information as to Catalina’s travel intentions" - though the 15-year-old's movements in Manchester from that point are unconfirmed.

Detective Inspector Furzana Nazir, who is leading the search, said: "At this stage in the investigation, the smallest piece of information could make a big difference to us so I’d urge anyone who can, to call us and help.

“We are continuing to explore a number of lines of inquiry and still believe that there may be people out there she knows, or who know of her, who are assisting her. If this is the case, then they are likely to be committing a criminal offence.

"These two children are vulnerable and need to be located, quickly."

Officers are planning to search a number of properties around the UK and internationally over the next week.

Catalina and her six-month-old son Ricardo disappeared on December 19 after she said they were going for a walk into Penrith town centre. They were captured on CCTV at the town's train station and then again on CCTV at Manchester later in the day.

A six-strong police team is searching for the teenager, who is originally from Romania but has lived in Cumbria for 18 months.

Inquiry teams and specially trained search officers have conducted inquiries in both the Northumbria and Greater Manchester areas and the UK Border Agency is in touch with Interpol.

Catalina - who has strong links with various Romanian and travelling communities - is described as having very long straight hair, often worn in a bun. She is medium-heavy build and has a dark complexion.

Anyone who has seen Catalina - whose guardian has made an emotional appeal for her return - or who knows where she is should call Cumbria police on 101.

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