Mum of missing Ilford boy, 13: ‘My heart is slowly leaving me’

The heartbroken parents of a missing 13-year-old boy say they feel “helpless” after police revealed they are lacking leads in the search for him.

Emanuel Paun, of St Lukes Avenue, Ilford, was last seen at about 10am on Monday, January 30 when he left his home to visit a nearby fast food shop with �6 to spend.

The boy and his family moved to the UK from Romania on January 24, just four days before he disappeared.

Speaking exclusively to the Recorder through an interpreter, his mother Somerda Paun, 33, and father, Sandu Tarlea, 34, said they are struggling to sleep and barely eating while the search continues.

A tearful Miss Paun said: “It feels like my heart is slowly leaving me and I just want to faint every time I see his face on the posters.

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“We do nothing but think of him.”

This is not the first time during his short stay in the area that Emanuel has gone missing.

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Police had previously returned him to his family after he was found wandering the streets of Romford carrying a piece of paper with his address written on it.

Mr Tarlea added: “The time before he had got lost in Romford and was brought home after a couple of hours. We do not even know where Romford is.

“If he was just two years old I could understand him being lost, but he is 13 and I’m terrified someone may have taken him by force.”

Police have placed posters around the area where Emanuel was last seen, held meetings with community groups and circulated recent pictures to businesses.

Det Sgt Sarah Cullen said: “All our usual methods of searching just are not there.

“He has no mobile phone, no Oyster card and is not enrolled in any school.

“This is a 13-year-old boy that has effectively disappeared off the street.”

Emanuel is described as white with pale skin, approximately 4ft 11in tall, of slim build and has short red/blond hair.

He was last seen wearing a white and blue jacket, dark jeans and black trainers.

n Anyone with information is asked to call 020 8345 2733, or 0500 700 700.

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