After missing for almost three days, 17-year old Ica Policarpio will spend Christmas surrounded by her family, safe and sound, according to her sister Bea.
On Facebook, where Ica's story as a missing teen had gone viral, Bea posted she and her family found Ica today, December 24. She wrote, "We wanted to ease everyone's worry and let you all know that she is okay, she is unharmed, and she is with us. Thank you Lord."
According to ABS-CBN News, authorities found her in San Pablo Laguna. At the time of her disappearance, her father, lawyer Rufino Policarpio III, told Inquireron December 22, “We don’t know if it’s voluntary or involuntary [disappearance]. But we hope to find her soon. We’re getting really worried as the hours progress.”
The Policaprio family initially did not address the circumstances of Ica's disappearance except to say through Bea, "Investigation is still ongoing, but be assured we will be verifying relevant facts via official media sites. Kindly wait for that and respect our family's privacy at this time."
But at a press conference held a few hours after Ica was found, Policarpio confirmed Ica ran away, as the police suspected. He also said they had a "father-daughter discussion" — the father did not say what it was about — and Policarpio said he felt guilty that Ica might have run away because of it. After a reporter asked whether Ica was angry at him, Policarpio reportedly replied, "Ngayon, sa tingin ko, hindi na."
Policarpio thanked the public for helping them find Ica. "Yun pong social media ang napakalaking bagay. We trusted the instincts of our young ones. Our daughter and our son, sila po ang nag-broadcast sa social media," he said, according to Rappler.
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In her latest Facebook post, Bea said that Ica had "no idea we were all looking for her!"
Bea and her family took to social media to ask for help in finding Ica who went missing on Thursday night, December 21 at a coffee shop in Sucat. According to news reports, surveillance camera showed Ica asking the coffee shop's cashier to break her P1,000 bill to hundreds. The cashier couldn't change it, and Ica stepped out of the coffee shop. When her parents arrived to pick her up, she had not returned to the coffee shop, but her valuables including her bag, her phone and two laptops were still there.