Arrest after missing Stockton girl, 10, found injured

Scene of the attack
Image caption The girl was found in Maritime Way

A teenager has been arrested after a missing 10-year-old girl was found with serious head injuries.

The girl was reported missing from her home in Stockton at 18:30 BST on Friday and a massive search was launched involving the police helicopter.

She was found two hours later in Maritime Way, Stockton, with serious but not life-threatening head injuries, Cleveland Police said.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of assault.

The injured girl was taken to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary where she is being cared for by paediatric specialists, police said.

'Remain calm'

A statement from the Cleveland force said: "Police can confirm that a 10-year-old girl from Stockton was reported missing from her home at 6.30pm on 7 April.

"She has been taken to the RVI Hospital in Newcastle with serious, but non-life threatening head injuries.

"Initial inquiries suggest she has been the victim of a serious assault, and the RVI Hospital has a specialist paediatric unit where a thorough examination is in progress.

"A 16-year-old local male has been arrested at noon today in connection with the assault."

Police in Stockton have set up an incident room manned by 48 staff.

The spokeswoman added that officers had been working round the clock to try and establish where the girl was on Friday evening.

She added: "They were supported by the police helicopter, CID officers and neighbourhood police teams, as well as specialist search trained staff.

"Police are asking the local community to work with them and to remain calm.

"There will be a Neighbourhood Police presence in the area to provide reassurance and anyone wishing to offer any information."

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