Search continues for missing girl in Rogovka, Latvia

The search for the seven-year-old Justīne Reinikova has continued since Friday evening, but still without a result. Meanwhile, the police are changing search approaches, Latvian Television reported on May 8.

After three days of searching for the missing seven-year-old Justīne Reinikova, the girl's dad has made a public comment. He stressed there was incorrect information in the public space. He confirmed the girl had health problems, she could speak but very unclearly, but she would certainly hear the calls of rescuers.

“She went outside at around 19:00, asked to go out to play, and I watched as she walked toward the sandbox. I went home,” the girl's father, Vladimirs, said.

Justīne's dad had been the first to realize his daughter was missing.

She had been allowed to play outside in the sandbox alone previously, and the children in the family had been instructed not to go alone outside the courtyard, said Vladimirs.

“It was 20:00 already, and I went to call her home. I came out - she's not there! I looked around the house, nothing. I went straight to the kindergarten, there was a swing, things that interested her. I met my neighbor, she says, I didn't see anything. I walked around the village, asking people, no one had seen anything. [..] So around 21:00 I knew I couldn't handle it without the police," Vladimirs said.

According to the parish representatives, the public assumption that the family was not providing favorable conditions for the child was not true. It is true that the Orphan's Court had visited the home.

“The Orphan's Court had visited this house because the biological mother of the girl had claimed that her father was leaving [her daughter] to the grandmother and personally did not look after that child. The Orphan's Court visited, and everything was in very good order. The girl was happy, open. We cannot claim absolutely any harm in this respect,” said Līvija Plavinska, head of the management of Rēzekne Municipality's Nautrēnu Alliance.

In the vicinity of Rēzekne municipality Rogovka, the search for Justīne is continuing, but efforts are changing and not involving as many human resources as before.

The State Police and State Border Guard College are currently involved in search work, as well as a State Border Guard helicopter.

“We're not doing the surveying, combing as much as before, but only with individual forces and repeated crawling of individual areas, maybe a deeper crawl than it had been done before. The area was carefully combed, though. Well, unfortunately, there are no positive results yet. A total of 20 square kilometers of territory was surveyed,” said Guntars Kračus, chief of the investigation department of the Latgale management of the State Police.

“Everything is covered with footprints out here. Also, when there were K9 units from Rīga, they said it was impossible because there were so many prints here that the dog just doesn't find it anymore. About three ponds were drained. One large pond, which is 0.4 hectares, cannot be drained, but it is also searched with drones released into the water [..]. We've done everything we can. Of course, the terrain isn't that simple, because it's a marshy place, a watery place. And of course, it complicates this situation very much. Most of us all are startled by the fact that there is absolutely no lead,” Plavinska said.

Although extensive reinforcements are not needed at this time, volunteers can still apply to the crisis management center in Rogovka, where the search is coordinated by the State Police.

On Friday, Justīne left her residence at about 19:00, in Rēzekne municipality, Nautrēnu parish, Rogovka village, and has not returned.

Her height is 124 centimeters. Justīne has blond shoulder-length hair. She wore a short pink windbreaker, a white sweater, black jeans, and black fabric shoes.

State police ask that anyone who knows her possible location should call 67006734 or 110.

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