Oslo police officers say they now consider the disappearance of 16-year-old Østensjø girl Sigrid Giskegjerde Schjetne to be a criminal matter following new witness information.
According to the police’s Hanne Kristin Rohde, “A car of unknown colour was observed outside the kindergarten where clues were found about Sigrid. The car was observed at quarter past twelve and had its lights on. It was reportedly driving in the direction of Låveveien [in Østensjø].”
“Moreover, two young boys were observed around midnight while they were walking in Låveveien with a video camera and filming. Police fear something criminal has happened to her when taking into account the period of time since she disappeared. We now regard this to be a criminal case,” she added at today’s press conference.
Both boys voluntarily reported to police shortly afterwards following police requests. They are to be questioned this evening. Officers also wish to speak to the driver of the car.
Police, who believe she could still be alive, have already confirmed that they have found Sigrid's socks, shoes and mobile phone in the kindergarten that is 300 metres from where she lives.
16-year-old Sigrid from Østensjø in Oslo went missing at 00:15 early on Sunday morning whilst on her way back from a friend’s house in the area. She never arrived home as planned.
Sigrid is described as 170cm (about 5’5”) tall with light brown, long hair and blue eyes. She was also wearing a necklace with a bird on it and carrying an A4-sized brown handbag.
Other items she was wearing the night she disappeared – a pair of dungaree shorts, grey singlet, and blue hooded jumper – are still missing. Witnesses at the time of her presumed abduction told of "a girl’s scream".
Officers suspect that the teenager may have been taken away in a car against her will, but have not issued any concrete details or confirmed this theory.
Search volunteers at Østensjø School
©2012 Sarah Pettersen/The ForeignerMeanwhile, the search for missing 16-year-old Sigrid continued today. One volunteer, Leif Meian, said, “I don't know where we are going to search yet. We may be asked to search the Østensjø lake or the woods in Østmarka. “I have taken the day off work to look for Sigrid, like many here today.”
Other people among the some 150 to 200 volunteers that were gathered in the rain this morning had come from as far as Drøbak to meet up at Østensjø skole, where Sigrid attended as a child.
VG reports that, "police have moved the focus of their search from Skullerudstua and south towards Grønmo after clues were found."
The volunteers have been asked to cover Bøler and Oppsal, Ekeberg and areas north of it, Åsland, as well as the kindergarten and local area.
Spokesperson Thor Langli said, "We don't know if what we have found is connected but we are searching the area from the last place that Sigrid was seen."
As part of the continual hunt, two of Sigrid's friends had rallied a group of 50 youngsters together at Tveita to search the areas of Tveita, Haugerud and Hellerud.
"We are going to look in containers and in everything", said Carina Beilegaard Inglingstad, Monday, adding "I've know her since kindergarten. She’s as a fantastic girl, one that makes everyone laugh."
Socialist Left (SV) politician Mariann Borgen had also joined the search, stated that the family are her neighbours and good friends of both her and her family.
The Fire Brigade has also searched the nearby Østenjø waters and found nothing so far. A local search team covered the woods in the area.
Police have used 15 dogs belonging to them and search and rescue teams in their hunt for Sigrid, and were reportedly going to increase the number to 20 dogs or more.
Volunteers were covering the areas of Tryvann in the north-west, Maridalen in the north and Grefsenkollen in the north-east.
At yesterday’s press conference, Hanne Kristin Rohde of the Oslo police said that officers are keeping all possibilities open “because we don't know anything. We hope, to find Sigrid alive, of course.”
Statoil petrol station in Østensjø
©2012 Sarah Pettersen/The ForeignerShe confirmed they have studied footage from two CCTV cameras located at the Statoil petrol station in Østensjø which views Låveveien less than 200 meters from the kindergarten. It is unknown if the camera's have provided officers with images of the car that may be of interest to them.
Last night, police moved their search to the area of Skullerud, north-east of of Østensjø, but did not give precise details as to why.
Task force leader Lasse Alver stated, "We have received information that makes this area interesting to us." He added, “[We’re not acting on] a witness observation, something else has become apparent" He declined to comment further.
Officer Alver also stated that officers and dogs were also searching the Østmarka surroundings between Skllerud and Grønmo. The area between the water power stations as one of particular interest, according to him
A police representative has confirmed that a number of items have been found in Skullerud, most but not all of which can be ruled out of having anything to do with the missing girl.
Police have released a map of the area they are covering and ask members of the public with information as to any observations that took place between 23.30 on Saturday 4 August and Sunday morning at 02.00 to contact them on 22 66 99 66. They can also be reached on 02800 with any other particulars.
Geir Strand, spokesperson for the family said that they, “are grateful for the help of volunteers. This is, of course, an incredibly tough time but we still have hope of finding Sigrid alive."
"We must have hope. All these people here have hope," police liaison officer Frank Olssen from Manglerud police station said today.
Police have received over 300 tips from the public, and international police have been notified.
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