Missing British teenager Megan Stammers was discovered in the southwest city of Bordeaux on Friday, more than a week after eloping with her 30-year-old maths teacher, Jeremy Forrest, who was detained by police.
The couple disappeared from Sussex last Thursday, when they took a ferry from Dover to Calais and failed to return. British authorities were put on alert on last Friday after Stammers failed to show up to school.
French police had earlier said they wouldn’t launch an investigation into the girl’s disappearance because no law had been broken and she had not been reported as kidnapped by her parents. The legal age of consent in France is 15.
The school which Stammers attended and where Forrest worked was apparently first made aware that the two were in a romantic relationship eight months ago. It was reported on Tuesday that officials at the school were about to suspend the mathematics teacher the day that he and Stammers vanished.
The Evening Standard quoted a 15-year-old friend of Stammers saying she was angry the school in East Sussex had not done enough to protect the student. “She would tweet about being in love and show us his texts,” the friend was quoted as saying.
In 2009, the school was at the centre of another scandal. Teacher Robert Healy, then 27, was jailed for seven years after admitting to having sex with two schoolgirls, one 15 and one 16.
The British press also reported that Forrest and his 31-year-old wife had longstanding marital problems and police had been called to intervene in arguments.