Megan Stammers found in France with teacher

Megan Stammers Megan Stammers went missing on 20 September

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Missing schoolgirl Megan Stammers has been found in France and taken into the care of police.

The 15-year-old was found in Bordeaux with teacher Jeremy Forrest on Friday at 12:15 BST. Mr Forrest, 30, was arrested on suspicion of child abduction.

The pair have both spoken to their families, who have said they are relieved they were found safe and well.

Megan was reported missing after she did not turn up for school last Friday.

The pair were found in Bordeaux by police acting on a European arrest warrant, said Agnes Auboin, vice-prosecutor in the south-west France city.

"As the girl is a minor, the maximum will be done to return her to her family. She is in good health," she added.

The information which led to them being found came as a direct result of media coverage in France, Sussex Police said.

Parents 'thrilled'

Analysis

It would have been very difficult for the pair to stay one step ahead of the police once the European arrest warrant was issued on Tuesday.

You have to show your passport when you go into a hotel in France. Mr Forrest's vehicle registration number would also have been picked up if he used a toll road or bridge.

There are plenty of toll points between here and Bordeaux - a seven hour drive south - so I would have thought that the police were already starting to form a picture of where they might have headed.

I think that together with a higher profile for the story in France over the past two days it will have enabled the police to pinpoint where they were.

Government sources said at least two British diplomats were travelling with Megan and Mr Forrest, the pair had both spoken to their respective families and their morale was said to be good.

They said the pair were being given legal assistance but there was no information about any possible charges.

Following her discovery Megan's stepfather Martin Stammers wrote on Twitter: "Thank you everyone for everything, massive relief and thrilled to bits, more to follow later."

Megan's mother, Danielle Wilson, later smiled and thanked members of the media waiting outside their home in Eastbourne.

BBC correspondent Luisa Baldini said she was accompanied by what looked like family liaison officers from Sussex Police as she walked into her house.

On Thursday Mr Stammers told BBC Crimewatch Megan's disappearance had "devastated" their entire family.

Mr Forrest's father, Jim, had also urged the pair to get in touch with police during a news conference.

TIMELINE OF KEY DATES

  • Thursday 20 September: Megan boards a ferry from Dover to Calais with Jeremy Forrest at 21:20 BST after telling her parents she would be staying overnight at a friend's house
  • Friday 21 September: Megan is reported to police as missing after failing to arrive at school
  • Monday 24 September: Police say a friend of Megan's had a text message from her, but not from her phone, saying she had arrived safely in France. Her mother appeals to her to come home
  • Tuesday 25 September: A European arrest warrant is issued for Jeremy Forrest
  • Thursday 27 September: Jeremy Forrest's parents appeal to him to make contact, and the BBC's Crimewatch programme focuses on their disappearance
  • Friday 28 September: Sussex Police say they had seven reported sightings after the Crimewatch programme
  • The pair are found in Bordeaux safe and well at 12:15 BST

Speaking after they were found, Jim and Julie Forrest said in a statement: "We are pleased that Megan and Jeremy have been found safe and well. This has been an ordeal for all the families concerned.

"We would like to thank Sussex and the French police as well as the British media for their assistance.

"We are relieved that the search is finally over and everyone can now focus on a safe and secure return for them both."

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said the pair were "safe and well" and added: "Arrangements will now be made for Megan and Jeremy's safe return."

Police were alerted when Megan did not arrive at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne on 21 September.

It was later discovered she had boarded a ferry from Dover to Calais with the maths teacher.

Terry Boatwright, head teacher of Bishop Bell C of E School, said: "Everyone in the Bishop Bell School community is delighted that Megan has been found and can now be reunited with her family, who must be so relieved.

"Throughout the last week, finding Megan has been everyone's priority and a major focus of our thoughts and prayers in school.

"Clearly, much needs to be done now to support Megan, and her family, as they seek to return to some sort of normality and we will do all we can to play our part in that."

Arrest warrant

Neighbour Matthew Rumary, who witnessed the family's upset and desperate wait for news of Megan, said: "I am very, very pleased for them."

Megan Stammers has been taken into protection after being found

It was revealed on Thursday a European arrest warrant had been issued for Mr Forrest.

Following the disappearance, Megan's friends and family used Facebook and Twitter to help the police search.

Megan's mother described her daughter as "home girl" who did not like to be away from her family.

She was also described as a "very quiet" girl and someone who "kept herself to herself", by 16-year-old Shanice Dolan, who was in a dance class with her.

Former pupils of Mr Forrest described him as a "great teacher" and a "great guy" who was liked by everyone and had a good reputation.

Map timeline showing movements of Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest

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