Missing Auckland teenager Jazmine Marie Rudolph-Karena, 14, has been found safe much to the relief of her family who spent hours searching on foot yesterday.
The Browns Bay girl, one of five children, was reported missing when she did not return home from school on Tuesday afternoon.
Mum Julia Rudolph-Karena says she received a call from Henderson Police at around 7.30pm last night to say Jazmine had been found and was being taken to the station.
"We are just grateful that she is safe. Jazmine is not with us at the moment. She needs time to clear her head and we also didn't want her walking into a home that's just been turned upside down."
The past 48 hours have been filled with heartache and stress, she says.
"We don't think she will ever be able to comprehend what it was like for us in those hours she was missing. The drama and trauma is still ongoing, the impact it has had on us all is huge."
Ms Rudolph-Karena says she and her 18-year-old son spent hours searching Westgate Shopping Centre yesterday.
"It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Every young girl was getting approached by strangers trying to track Jaz down."
When Jazmine failed to answer her phone and friends knew nothing of her whereabouts, Ms Rudolph-Karena took to Facebook appealing for help.
A post on the North Shore Times Facebook page was viewed by almost 17,000 and shared by more than 300 concerned residents.
Jazmine usually travels to and from Rangitoto College with her two sisters and it was out of character for her to disappear without telling anyone, Ms Rudolph-Karena says.
She feared her daughter's disappearance was linked to friendships she had made online.
"The whole cyber thing is really dangerous. Kids can befriend people they don't even know and next thing you know phone numbers are exchanged.
"In saying that Facebook is what helped us to locate her, it was an incredible tool for us to get leads."
The ordeal has been a big learning curve for Jazmine's siblings, Ms Rudolph-Karena says.
"Through this trauma I'm a firm believer that something good will come of it. For my other two daughters it has really hit home, don't make friends online. It is a lesson for everyone.
"We still don't know what happened with her while she was gone, we are hoping police might shed some light on things."
Mediation and family therapy is an option moving forward, Ms Rudolph-Karena says.
"We are thinking we'll need a third party to help us work through the repercussions of what's happened.
"There are a lot of things to look at. My underlying concern is, and always has been, this whole cyber thing. There is a fine line, you don't want them to rebel, but at the end of the day it is all about trust."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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