A MAN and woman have today been charged with child abduction after an eight-year-old girl vanished in Bristol for 18 hours after a trip to McDonald's.
Annmarie Lawton, 29, and Ismail Qurba, 25, were at the centre of the hunt for the youngster after she left home at around 3pm on Wednesday.Cops arrested a man and woman after a hunt to find the missing childCredit: SWNS:South West News Service The pair were taken away in a police car after she was found safeCredit: SWNS:South West News Service Annmarie Lawton was said to have taken the youngster for McDonald's
Cops had released CCTV images showing the youngster and two adults eating McDonald's.
She was expected back in around an hour but was found safe and well after an 18-hour search.
Qurba and Lawton have now been charged with detaining a child so as to keep her from a person having lawful control of her, which is an offence under the Child Abduction Act of 1984.
They will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court today for a virtual hearing, police confirmed.
Speaking after the young girl was returned home, her gran said: “It’s the best Christmas present I could have wished for.
"I’ve barely slept since I heard that she had gone missing. You can only imagine the relief when I was told that she had been found.
“The whole family are just so happy to have her back.”
A member of the public called officers after they spotted a man and woman, along with the girl, inside Bristol's Broadmead Shopping Centre just after 9am on Friday morning.
The couple appeared to be "arguing", and the schoolgirl seemed unhurt and well, sources said.
A family friend said her mum had "gone through hell" over the past 24 hours.
She told the MailOnline: "The girl's mum was absolutely sick with worry all last night, it's every parents worst nightmare.
"She has gone through hell over the last 24-hours or so not knowing where her daughter was, the whole family has.
"I spoke to her today after she was told that she had been found safe and well. She said it was a huge relief.
"I'm so happy for them that they've got her back in time for Christmas."