'Missing' Child Returns Home after 'Walking from Dbayeh to Barja'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
After triggering a major search operation and making news headlines, a child who was reported missing on Sunday morning surfaced at his house in the evening – after walking from Dbayeh to Barja.
TV networks had reported that Rafiq Ahmed Jomaa, a 10-year-old boy, went missing during a school marathon in the seaside La Marina Dbayeh area.
“The Civil Defense and security forces are searching for the child Rafik Ahmed Jomaa, 10, after he went missing around 10:30 am during his participation with his classmates in a mini marathon in the La Marina Dbayeh area,” MTV said.
“CCTV footage shows the toddler leaving the race at 11:32 am and heading right, towards the sea,” MTV added.
The Internal Security Forces later circulated Rafiq's picture and asked for the public's help in locating the child.
But in the evening, several TV networks reported that the boy returned home safely after crossing around 44 kilometers on foot.
The unusual trip took him around six hours, according to media reports.
In a live phone interview with MTV, the child insisted that he walked home. His parents also confirmed that he had arrived at a neighbor's house.
Sources had told MTV that authorities looked into several scenarios during the boy's disappearance.
“He was either kidnapped during his participation in the marathon or he took another bus without calling his parents, although he knows the address of his residence and his father's phone number,” the sources said.
“Another scenario is that he might have managed to reach the rocks or the sea, which is only 15 meters away from the corniche,” the sources added.
Rescue crews and security forces had intensified search efforts in a bid to find the boy before nightfall, according to MTV.