Tukerangi family happy to have LA found safe

By Heta Gardiner
  • Auckland

LA Tukerangi‘s father, Chris Tukerangi is ecstatic after he and his family were notified that his daughter has been found safe and sound.

He says, “It just gives us a chance to try and keep ourselves together for our daughter's return.”

15-year-old LA Tukerangi went missing in the last week.

It has been reported that she was recently seen with Dean Whakatau, a 36-year-old man, who has been imprisoned for rape and kidnapping.

But it has been said, LA's family were delighted to see their girl.

Her dad Chris confirmed, "Yes, we have (seen her) but that's all I can say."

Her mother's cries caught media's attention.  She said her daughter was messaging her that she was being kept against her will.

It was later discovered that she had been seen with Whakatau.

It was a stressful time for the family, with her mother, father, and even Whakatau's family, pleading for them to come home.

Police then announced today that Tukerangi was back safe.

Chris says, “I'm supposed to be eating, haven’t had breakfast, lunch and I’m pretty hungry.  If we're talking about my daughter's return, me and her mother and siblings are over-the-moon.  We're just happy that she's safe.”

Police thanked the public for their support.  But, for the family, only one thing really matters, and that's that their girl is safe.

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