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BRYANSK, January 12 (Itar-Tass) —— Two first-grade schoolgirls - Anastasia Boraborkina and Olga Markelova, who had been missing since January 11 and found alive on Thursday, claim they did not return home because one of them had lost her mobile telephone and was afraid to return home, a source from the Investigative Committee (SK) told Itar-Tass.
The girls said that they had been hiding in their friend's room not to be seen by the friend's parents and stayed there all the time while the search for them continued. The girls dared to leave the apartment on Thursday afternoon only when their friend's parents went out of the apartment.
A schoolboy who had seen the girls going into the stairway of the house where their friend lived brought policemen to the house. At around half past one pm Moscow time Thursday policemen and a camera crew of REN Bryansk television saw both girls coming out of the house.
Earlier reports said the school girls had obviously stayed at their friend’s place overnight where police finally found them.
The two first-grade school girls failed to return home from school on January 11 after school lessons ended at 1.00 pm Wednesday. At around 2.00 pm Wednesday Nastya Boraborkina’s mother called her daughter on mobile telephone to hear her daughter say that she is at home. When the woman returned home her daughter was not in. Neither her daughter answered mobile telephone calls.
At around 5.00 pm the parents of one of the missing girl’s contacted police, declaring the children were missing. Both girls were seen last at around 6.00 pm Wednesday.
All the necessary investigative and search efforts were made to establish the whereabouts of the missing children, SK said. Experienced detectives and experts from the SK Central headquarters were sent to Bryansk to join search operations and clarify the circumstances of the incident. The SK head staff brought the investigation under control.
Earlier, press service Chief of Bryansk Interior department Svetlana Kokotova told Itar-Tass that the search for the children in which more than 500 policemen and experts with sniffer dogs were involved, continued throughout last night. Rescuers and workers of the administration of the Bezhitsky region, where the children might presumably be staying, joined the search as well, Kokotova said. Law enforcers have combed a nearby forest, checked all the houses and constructions in the neighborhood, commuter trains and other transport vehicles.
Police studied the girls’ contacts at school and even their contacts with former kindergarten friends. Police circulated an identikit of the missing girls and asked the population for help.
Bryansk regional Governor Nikolai Denin expressed concern over the incident. He presumed that the two first-grades school girls- Anastasiya Boraborkina and Olga Markelova, might have disappeared because of an irresponsible conduct of workers of the related educational establishments.
A criminal case on murder charges was opened into the incident. Spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass that "instituting criminal proceedings is a usual practice in such situations which enables the investigation and law enforcers to take all the necessary investigative measures, above all, for effective search for missing children."
The criminal case will be dropped, SK said.