THE family of Ica Policarpio, the 17-year-old 12th grader who went missing in Muntinlupa City, has reason to rejoice this festive season after she returned to them on Christmas Eve.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Bea Policarpio announced that her sister Ica had returned to their family after she was found by authorities in San Pablo, Laguna.
“We found Ica,” Bea posted on Facebook at around 9:30 am on December 24.
“Words cannot express our joy in this moment. Our family can never thank you enough, each and every one of you, for storming the heavens so we could be given a second chance to be complete,” she added.
Along with the post is a picture of Ica hugging her mom.
Bea asked for their family’s privacy amid an investigation into the circumstances of Ica’s disappearance.
Ica was last seen at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday having her money changed at a convenience store in Sucat.
Muntinlupa police investigators said Ica was at the Coffee Project Lakefront and needed change. She went next door to the convenience store.
Security cameras were able to record the moment Ica left the store – the last time she was seen.
Ica’s father Rufino Policarpio said he spoke with his daughter at around 10 p.m., and they agreed to meet at the coffee shop after which they would go home together.
But when Rufino arrived at the coffee place and did not see his daughter, he assumed she had gone home.
Southern Police District head Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario said Ica was found in a carinderia (eatery) along Leon Guinto Street, in Barangay II-B, San Pablo City, Laguna between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Sunday.
“Village watchers saw her beside the eatery. She was hungry, but initially she looked okay and she’s now safe with her family and under police custody,” Apolinario said in a radio interview.
Metro Manila Police Director Oscar Albayalde said the finding of Ica was the result of cooperation from the community, netizens and the police.
“This is a classic example of public cooperation. This also defines our previous calls to the community at large on being observant and vigilant,” Albayalde said in a statement.
“I immediately sent the information to all our districts and media friends… the information spread like wildfire,” said Albayalde, noting that nearby regional police offices helped spread the information.