Missing 13-year-old Sheffield girl Erika Kacicova has been found “safe and well” in Bradford city centre after she was missing for 7 days

August 2013

Where’s my daughter? Father’s plea as girl, 13, goes missing after befriending man online


  • Erika Kacicova was last seen leaving home in Darnall, Sheffield, on Monday 

  • South Yorkshire Police say she may be staying with friends in Bradford 

  • Man, 22, arrested on suspicion of child abduction released on police bail

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The distraught family of a 13-year-old girl who went missing  after befriending an older man over the internet begged her last night to come home.

Erika Kacicova’s father Stefan said his ‘beautiful’ daughter had got to know a man of Pakistani origin on Facebook before disappearing a week ago.

On Friday, police arrested a 22-year-old man from Bradford on suspicion of abduction.

He was released on bail yesterday, with police describing his relationship with the girl as ‘a friendship’.

They said the man, who approached them after they issued an appeal for information about Erika’s whereabouts, was still ‘of interest’ to the inquiry.

Erika was last seen on Monday afternoon when she left her family’s home in Darnall, Sheffield.

Police have been conducting house-to-house inquiries in the city and have extended their search to Bradford.

One line of inquiry is that Erika may be staying with friends there. Detectives are following up a number of possible sightings.

Detective Inspector Helen Tate, from South Yorkshire Police, said: ‘There is nothing that has come to light which leads us to believe she is further afield than that. We do feel she is somewhere within the South and West Yorkshire region.’

Officers described the incident as ‘critical’ and appealed to Erika to get in touch to say that she is safe and well.

Erika’s father said last night: ‘She has been gone for six days now and we have not had any phone calls or texts from her.

‘She is a beautiful, normal girl who loves her music and dancing and we miss her.’ 

Mr Kacicova, an unemployed former parking attendant who lives with his wife Jana and Erika’s younger sister, Bozena, ten, said the teenager had met the unnamed man online.

‘I am very angry at this man. My daughter is just a child and he should not have been speaking to her,’ he said.

‘Now I am just begging him to please tell us where she is so that she can come home.

‘It is very hard to stop children from going on the computer and we did not know that Erika had been speaking so much with this man. She is a good girl and we want her to know that we all love her and care for her very much.’

The family moved to Britain from Slovakia two years ago.

Detectives have taken a computer and a mobile phone from their home for further analysis.

Erika previously went missing about three months ago but she returned home after 24 hours.

Detective Inspector Tate said: ‘This is out of character for her. She is a 13-year-old girl and she has not been missing like this before for such a period of time.

‘I really do need you, Erika, to get in touch with the police and let us know you’re safe.’

She said of the 22-year-old man: ‘It is a friendship, and I can’t say anything more than that, but he has been released on bail and is still of interest to us.’

She added: ‘Erika’s not in trouble. There’s nothing that she’s done wrong.

‘She’s a schoolgirl and there are no issues there. We really do just want her to come home and make sure that she’s safe.

‘The family quite naturally are distraught. They are very troubled by the whole situation.

‘They desire to know their daughter is safe and well.’

A neighbour of the Kacicovas, who requested to remain anonymous, said: ‘She is a lovely girl and we would often see her around.

‘It is very worrying that she has been missing for such a long time and we really feel for her family and hope she comes home soon.’

Erika’s photograph has been circulated to police officers and CCTV operators in the hope that she can be traced.

She is 4ft 11in, slim, with long, straight dark brown hair and brown eyes, and was wearing blue jeans, a pink polo-style shirt and a silvery-grey jacket.