Home-alone girl's mother missing

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2007, 12:00am

Police are searching for the mother of a five-year-old girl who was found wandering the streets of Sham Shui Po after being left home alone on Monday night.

Last night the kindergarten pupil from the single-parent family was being cared for at the Caritas Medical Centre. The Social Welfare Department is following up the case.

The girl, who lives with her mother in a room in a flat in Un Chau Street, last saw her mother on Monday when they had dinner together with her mother's male friend.

Her mother went missing after asking her friend to take the girl home, according to police. 'Initial investigations show that the man left the girl alone at home and left the unit,' an investigator said.

At 10.30pm, the girl was hungry and left the room to find food. But she was unable to return to the room because the door had closed and she could not get in.

The youngster then went down to the street where she was found by policemen at 10.40pm.

'The girl is in good health. There are no signs of physical abuse,' the officer said.

Her mother's friend was found by police yesterday afternoon and was being held for questioning last night. He had not been arrested.

The investigator said officers were checking with the Immigration Department to see whether the girl's mother had left for the mainland.

The girl and her mother live on welfare.

This is the fourth time the problem of children being left home alone has come to light since August 26.

On September 22, firemen rescued a three-year-old boy from a flat that caught fire in Tai Kok Tsui.

On August 31, rats bit the toes of a 24-day-old baby boy in Sha Tin after his mother reportedly left him unattended.

On August 26, two children, aged two and three, suffered serious burns in a fire in a locked flat in Tuen Mun.