UK & World News
Megan To Be Reunited With Her Family Today
Megan Stammers will fly home from France today with Sussex police child protection officers nine days after she disappeared with her maths teacher, Sky News has learnt.
The 15-year-old and Jeremy Forrest, 30, were tracked down to Bordeaux after police responded to reports they had been seen in the southwest of the country.
It followed a week-long international search for the pair.
Her family have spoken of their joy after Megan was found.
Her stepfather Martin Stammers, who had earlier made an emotional appeal for her return, said he was "thrilled to bits".
"The relief, the outpouring of love from everyone is just amazing. We are just so, so happy.
"As time goes on you despair even more, but knowing Megan, knowing the girl she is, I always had that belief she was strong enough within herself to stay safe and well."
Forrest is in custody in Bordeaux, where he was arrested on suspicion of child abduction.
He will not fight extradition proceedings and has agreed to return to the UK as soon as possible, his lawyers have said.
French media have reported the pair were stopped as they made their way, hand-in-hand, to a work-related appointment in the centre of the city. It is understood Forrest had recently been interviewed for a bar job.
After they were found, Megan was taken into police protection.
Forrest is expected to attend a formal court hearing on Tuesday morning and is likely to be held in custody until then, sources said.
His parents - Jim and Julie Forrest - said they were "relieved" they had been found. "We are pleased that Megan and Jeremy have been found safe and well," they said in a statement.
"This has been an ordeal for all the families concerned. We would like to thank Sussex and the French police as well as the British media for their assistance."
A European Arrest Warrant had been issued for Forrest earlier this week.
The pair, who left Britain on a cross-Channel ferry on September 20, were found as "a direct result of media coverage in France", French police said.
It is believed they had travelled to the southwestern city by train after leaving Forrest's car in Paris.
Megan was said to be "safe and well" but was expected to undergo a French police medical examination before she is able to return to her family.
On a Facebook page set up to help the search, well-wishers expressed their relief at the news Megan would be returning home.
Craig Michael Warner said: "Great news so pleased was all I could think about."
Derek John Wroe said: "Excellent news. Very happy indeed for the family in what must have been a horrific nightmare. Wishing the Stammers all the best."
Under French law, a 15-year-old is not considered a minor in sexual terms.
However, Forrest could be deemed to have committed a crime in France if he is found to have abused the position of authority he had as Megan's teacher.
Megan left her home in Eastbourne at around 4.30pm last Thursday, telling her mother she was going to stay overnight at a friend's house.
Later that day CCTV recorded Forrest's black Ford Fiesta heading to Dover with Megan in the passenger seat.
The following morning Megan's mother received a text message from Bishop Bell Church of England School to say her daughter had not attended any lessons that day and police were called.