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28 May 2024

British runaway pupils found in Caribbean resort

By Reuters

Two teenage pupils who ran away from a boarding school in northern England a week ago have been found in a five-star beach resort in the Caribbean, police said on Monday.

The two students, Edward Bunyan, 16, and Indira Gainiyeva, 17, were located "safe and well" at a hotel in the holiday resort of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on Sunday night.

The teenagers slipped away last week from Stonyhurst College near Clitheroe, Lancashire, about 380 km north of London, and were last seen at Manchester airport around 0300 GMT on January 13.

Fellow pupils took to Twitter using the hashtags #WheresBunyan and #WheresIndira to swap news of the pair. Newspapers said they had told friends before they left that they were sick of the cold and rain in Lancashire.

A police spokesman said plans were being made for the couple's return to the UK but that no date had been set.

"Our priority throughout this has been to ensure the safety and welfare of these students and after they have been spoken to on their return this will signal an end of police involvement in this matter," police said in a statement.

Stonyhurst College is an independent Roman Catholic boarding and day school that dates back over 400 years and which charges annual fees of about 30,000 pounds ($50,000).

Headmaster Andrew Johnson said he was "absolutely delighted" that the pupils had been found.

Describing them both as "nice kids", he said nothing had been decided yet on the possible consequences of their escapade.

"Over the coming days we will be having discussions with the two young people and their families about what has happened and also what happens next," Johnson told Reuters.

"However, it is simply too early at the moment to speculate about the future."