YORK, England - A schoolgirl found in a man's apartment in northern England 24 days after she vanished will remain in police care for several days, officials said Sunday.
An emergency protection order for Shannon Matthews, 9, has been obtained, The Guardian reported. Her parents were told that Shannon is being questioned by investigators trained in working with young children.
"I fully understand that the police need to keep speaking to Shannon to establish exactly what has happened during the time that she has been missing," Her mother Karen Matthews, said in a statement.
The search was the largest investigation in the area since the Yorkshire Ripper case. Police raided the home of Mick Donovan, a relative of Shannon's stepfather, and found the little girl concealed in the drawer of a divan bed Friday.
Yorkshire police have denied reports that they could have rescued Shannon days earlier if they had followed up on tips about Donovan.
"Let me put on notice the fact that had we known at any time the whereabouts of Shannon we would have been there in seconds," Chief Superintendent Barry South said after a private meeting with local residents in Dewsbury.
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