Brit girl, 4, who went missing in Spain with her mum eight months ago found safe

A BRITISH four-year-old girl who sparked a desperate hunt after she vanished with her schizophrenic mum has been found in Spain eight months later.

Elliana Shand, also known as Elliana Richards, vanished from London with mum Jessica Richards in May during a High Court custody battle.

Mr Justice Hayden made a number of appeals for help after the pair disappeared and made a direct appeal to expats and Brit tourists after hearing evidence the pair may have been in Spain.

He revealed today she had been found safe and well as he praised work by British and Spanish police and the Foreign Office to track down the youngster.

He also thanked Elliana’s paternal grandparents, Sean and Eileen Doyle, who never gave up hope finding her.

The couple, aged in their 50s from Wembley, said they were "over the moon" after hearing their grandaughter had been found at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court today.

The court heard in May after Elliana and Jessica vanished that the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham decided the youngster should no longer with her mum.

They said Jessica's mental health issues meant she could no longer provide her daughter with essential safety and security.

The local authority's plan was for her to remain within her family but on the paternal side.

During the court proceedings, which were likely to see Elliana taken into care, the tot's maternal grandmother Sharon Shand flew with her to Jamaica on a "farewell final holiday".

She maintained she handed Elliana over to her mum on her return to the UK in September.


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