A MOTHER who went missing from Sunderland with her five daughters earlier this year has been intercepted by German authorities as she attempted to travel to Turkey.
Natalie Bracht, 35, left home on May 17 with her daughters Indira, Naima, Elinour, Manjuh and Naomi, aged five to 13, after learning they might be taken into care. Ms Bracht had moved to the North East in 2006 with her daughters from Germany.
Following a six-month search carried out by Northumbria Police with the support of forces across the UK and in Europe, Ms Bracht and all five of the girls were found safe and well in Munich yesterday.
The family were discovered by German police at a bus station in the country. They were on their way to Turkey.
The children are now in the care of the German authorities and Northumbria Police are waiting to talk to the family.
After the family went missing, an international search was launched. The German-born mother is said by Northumbria Police to have a personality disorder.
After they vanished from the North East, the family was spotted by CCTV cameras at King’s Cross station. In the pictures Ms Bracht and the children are wearing traditional Muslim robes.
The family moved from London to the West Country and were traced to a commune in June, but disappeared again before the authorities moved in.
It was believed people were helping Ms Bracht after she told them her life was in danger and her father was a Libyan spy. But her British-born father John Brown denied the claim, and last week urged her to give herself up. And her mother, Heidrun Brown, who lives in Germany, pleaded with her daughter to bring the children home: “She is a good mother and she teaches her children well. It would be better if she came forward. The children, I imagine, must be confused. She is welcome to come here with them. We love them still.”
Northumbria Police asked the High Court to allow them to identify the missing children a week ago, after they had been on the run for six months.
Det Chief Insp Ian Bentham, of Northumbria Police, said last night: “I am happy that the girls have been found safe and well and I would like to thank the public and the media for their help and assistance.
“We are working with their German counterparts and will be speaking with Natalie in due course.”
Mick McCracken, head of safeguarding at Sunderland City Council, said: “We are all very pleased to hear that Natalie and the girls have been found safe. We are now talking to the authorities and courts about what is best for the girls.”