Missing Ranau girls left home to earn money for smartphones

KOTA KINABALU: The three Ranau girls found safe in Sandakan four days after they disappeared from their homes last week were looking for a job to buy smartphones, according to Malay news portal Majoriti.

One of the missing girls' mother, Lorita Satir, 43, received a call from her daughter at about 5.30 pm on Tuesday (May 14) seeking help to bring them home from Sandakan.

She said they were safe at a house in the east coast town.

"My daughter called and asked me to pick them up. I was shocked because I thought something had happened and immediately asked them where they were.

"I also overheard the 'host' of the house where they were staying asking them if they wanted to go home. If not, he wanted to take them to the police station.

"But then suddenly, my daughter hung up," Lorita was quoted as saying by Majoriti.

Two of the girls are aged 12 while the other is aged 15.

Lorita said after a minute, her daughter called her again but this time, she spoke to the host, a man.

She said the man told her that the children were at his house in Sandakan.

"He told me there is a male friend who brought them and asked for permission to stay at his house for two or three days as they were looking for work. So, they stayed one night," said Lorita.

Lorita said she believed that the man they were with was a friend of the older girl who was trying to help her younger friends get a job.

She said she was surprised and shocked that her daughter had gone to Sandakan to get a job to buy a smartphone.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ranau district police chief Deputy Supt Simiun Lomudin confirmed that the girls were safe and that police were in the process of bringing the girls back.

He said police would be recording their statements before handing them back to their families.

He said the girls had boarded a bus from Ranau to Sandakan and clarified earlier reports that they were last seen coming down from a mini-bus and following a mystery man into a car on Monday (May 13) morning.

Although the girls were missing from their homes since Friday morning (May 10), the families only lodged a police report on Monday night (May 13).

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Missing , smartphones , girls , mother


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