Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Pamela Horvathova: Police appeal over mobile phone

Pamela Horvathova Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Pamela Horvathova, a Sheffield College student, was reported missing on Christmas Eve

Detectives searching for a missing 16-year-old girl want to speak to any of her friends who may have lent her a mobile phone.

Pamela Horvathova, from Darnall in Sheffield, has not been seen for more than a month.

The Slovakian, from the Roma community, did not own a mobile phone.

Police divers have been searching canals and rivers close to where she was last seen.

Detectives in South Yorkshire said she went to a Sheffield College event on 19 December near the River Don, and Tinsley and Sheffield Canal.

The officer leading the investigation, Supt Paul McCurry said it was "very strange" that a 16 year old does not own a mobile phone.

"But if you understand the Roma community, they are very poor sort of communities, so it's quite normal for quite a lot of young people from Roma backgrounds not to own a mobile phone."

"Somebody has some information, it's really important that any friends, associations [get in touch], that's why we're appealing for the mobile.

"We believe that Pamela has used a friend's mobile phone, we just need people to give us that."

Image caption Police drove a van around Sheffield with Slovak signs showing a picture of Pamela Horvathova

Pamela was reported missing by her family on Christmas Eve.

Initially, officers thought the last sighting of her was at Sheffield College on Granville Road on 18 December.

Mr McCurry, said her disappearance was now being treated as "a critical incident".

Roma speakers

Police have been touring the city with a van showing a picture of the teenager and signs in Slovak in the hope that anyone with information comes forward.

Supt Paul McCurry also said that communication with Pamela's family and the wider community was problematic because of the dialect that was used.

He appealed for help saying: "While we're using an interpreter, we're interpreting into Slovakian, the Roma language itself is a separate dialect.

"So my appeal is at the moment for anybody who can speak Roma and English to come forward and help me find Pamela."

South Yorkshire Police said a news story about Pamela's disappearance had also been broadcast on Slovakian television.

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