Runaway teen found in Gore
A Southland teen who repeatedly ran away with a 50-year-old man has been captured a fourth time and placed in a secure Child, Youth and Family home machine made sequin embroidery.
Willow Perkins, 14, ran away from her Invercargill home with John Barrett, from the town of Nightcaps, early this month.
It was the third time the pair had run away together, following two jaunts in April. She was re-captured but then escaped a fourth time from the CYF house in Blenheim she was sent to.
Detective Scott McKenzie of Winton police has confirmed Willow was found in Gore on Sunday following a tip-off from a member of the public wine tasting.
Mr Barrett was not with her at the time, and has recently been spotted alone in Picton, but police believe Willow may have been freely in his company at some stage following each of her escapes.
Police planned to interview him this week as part of their investigation.
Det McKenzie would not be drawn on the nature of the pair's relationship but maintains police had fears for her safety while on the run.
Willow has been returned to Invercargill where she is "back in the custody of CYFs and in a more controlled environment", the officer said Asian college of knowledge management.
Her family were very relieved she'd been found and supportive of the police operation, he said.