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Saturday, 14 December, 2002, 22:52 GMT
Missing student found safe
Victoria Stephenson
Miss Stephenson disappeared four days ago
Missing university student Victoria Stephenson has been found safe in Dublin.

The Manchester Metropolitan University student disappeared four days ago after apparently going to interview homeless people as part of her degree course.

Miss Stephenson walked into a police station in the Irish Republic's capital on Saturday morning.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police flew to speak to the 19-year-old, and she left the police station with them on Saturday night.

It was understood they would be spending the night in the Irish Republic.

What better Christmas present could we have than to know she is safe and well

Family statement

Miss Stephenson talked to her friends and family by phone from the police station on Saturday.

Relatives and friends released a joint statement through Greater Manchester Police saying they were "over the moon" she had been found.

"What better Christmas present could we have than to know she is safe and well.

"We have spoken to her only briefly on the telephone and are looking forward to seeing her."

The Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, Alexandra Burslem, said she was "relieved and delighted" that Miss Stephenson had been found.

Police search
Police had launched a widescale search
Miss Stephenson's disappearance had prompted a big police search.

More than 40 police officers were searching parkland and scrub for the first-year community studies and sociology student.

Homeless magazine The Big Issue delayed its print-run so that leaflets appealing for information about her disappearance could be added to copies.

Miss Stephenson's parents had travelled from the family home in south London to Manchester to help the search mounted for her.

Miss Stephenson's best friend, Alice Jackson, 20, made an appeal on Friday for her to get in touch.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Judith Moritz
"No one imagined she was as faraway as Dublin"

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See also:

14 Dec 02 | England
13 Dec 02 | England
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