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Mother and child still missing from eastern Latvia

Svetlana Ižika and her three-year-old daughter Karīna have been missing for nine days. The State Police says that searches continue actively, while the Orphan's Courts in Riga and Daugavpils – cities where the mother and daughter are declared – refuse comments, Latgale Regional Television reported on October 9.

Three-year-old girl Karīna and her mother Svetlana were announced missing across the country since October 2. The child was under the guardianship of another person, but no further details are provided.

Valentina Gorbunova, deputy head of the State Childrens' Rights Protection Inspection (VBTAI), explained that the reasons for removing a child from the family can vary, including the state of parental health: “There are a lot of aspects out there that need to be assessed. We don't live in that environment anymore, that regime where if a person has any particular needs, they are isolated to some extent. A person with mental problems, a parent, of course, has the right to meet his or her child, which is also necessary for the development of the child.”

An employee of the Social Services of Krāslava municipality in Robežnieki Parish, where the woman's parents live, declined broader comment. This is the last place the woman and child were last seen on October 1.

Although a three-year-old child has disappeared in the country for nine days, neither the Orphan's Court of Rīga, where the girl was declared, Daugavpils where the mother was declared, nor the Latvian Association of Orphan's Court employees provide comments on their work and specific actions, citing data protection. The VBTAI has ordered a case to be launched to assess the responsibility of the Orphan's Court in this situation. 

Meanwhile, State Police spokeswoman Inge Teivāne-Treinovska said in a telephone interview to Latvian Television that the search for the woman and child is still active: “Both individuals have been announced missing across the country. Police are involved in the search efforts daily. At the same time, there is cooperation with other services in the exchange of information. We can confirm at this time that all possible means and resources are being used to locate the missing persons.”

Svetlana is about 165 centimeters tall, and wore dark trousers and a jacket, while her daughter Karīna wore a pink hat, a red-brown vest with yellow flowers, dark pants, a jacket, and pink rubber boots.

Anyone with information on the location of the mother and daughter has been asked to call 67006734 or 110.

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