15 Jul 2008

Car linked to girl's abduction found

5:09 pm on 15 July 2008

A car thought to belong to the man police are seeking over the alleged abduction of a 14-year-old Tauranga schoolgirl has been found in Rotorua.

Julie Davis went missing eleven days ago and on Monday police issued an arrest warrant for 41-year-old Craig Howard.

Police say they have recovered Mr Howard's car in Rotorua and that the pair were sighted in the city on Tuesday morning.

Mr Howard is said to be wearing a black beanie and carrying a grey and red backpack, while Julie is wearing an oversized purple sweatshirt that falls to her knees.

Anyone who sees the pair is asked to contact police urgently.

Earlier on Tuesday, Julie told a talkback radio station that she is safe and happy and will return home on Wednesday. She is adamant she is not in a sexual relationship with Mr Howard.

She said she simply ran away from home with Mr Howard's help and he had given her no reason to feel unsafe.

She said she has let her mother know she was fine and told the radio show she would definitely return home on Wednesday.