Described as “vulnerable”, 14-year-old Lorna Vickerage, from Doncaster is thought by police to have gone missing with a 35 year old convicted fraudster.
Lorna is thought to have diappeared with John Bush who is now wanted on suspicion of child abduction.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Robinson of South Yorkshire Police said Bush has a history of fraud but police are unclear about his motives for disappearing with Lorna.
Speaking at a press conference at Doncaster Police Station this morning, he said: “The last positive sighting of Lorna was with John Bush, and that was at 10.15 yesterday morning in the Highfields area of Doncaster.
“At that time she was introduced to a local couple by John as his daughter. Lorna appeared to be safe and well and chatty.”
Mr Robinson described Lorna as “quite vulnerable” and said she was in the care of the local authority and put in foster care on Friday.
He said Bush, who was a family friend for “some time”, is a single man with no family who has no history of similar offences, although he does have a fraud conviction.
“What does concern me is he’s a liar, he’s a fraud, he’s a cheat and it’s what he’s telling Lorna,” Mr Robinson added.
He said Bush was believed to be pretending Lorna was his daughter “as a guise” to avoid suspicion.
The force helicopter was scrambled yesterday to help with the search and police are trying to trace the vehicle Bush was in – a silver Ford Mondeo.
Mr Robinson said: “Lorna, you’re not in trouble. Your mum’s petrified, she’s worried to death, we’re concerned for your safety. We don’t know why you’ve gone with John and we don’t know why John’s taken you.
“Let us know you’re safe and well. Speak to John – tell him to hand himself in, and if you’re listening, John, we really do need to speak to you. The sooner you get this over with, the better.”
Police later confirmed that a 35-year-old man from Askern near Doncaster had been arrested, but said that this was not John Bush.