Palmerston North Police say the seven-year-old girl missing from her Highbury home overnight had spent the night at a friend's house.
Sergeant Andy Brooke, Palmerston North Search and Rescue, said police and Sapphire's family were very pleased to know that she had turned up safely at school this morning.
Police were alerted at 10.45pm last night after worried family members and friends had spent nearly six hours fruitlessly searching for Sapphire and her bicycle. Nearly 30 police staff, Search and Rescue personnel and LandSAR volunteers were called and spent the rest of the night checking streets, parks and streams.
It turns out that Sapphire had spent the night at a school friend's house and the children went to school this morning.
"The disappearance of a child is always a concern. Sapphire's night away from home is a good reminder for parents and caregivers to check with one another first that kids are allowed to have a sleep over away from home," said Sergeant Brooke. "This makes the supervision arrangements clear for everyone and avoids any unnecessary worry."
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