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Sunday 18 March 2018

Runaway boarding school teens found at beach resort in Dominican Republic

Edward Bunyan and Indira Gainiyeva, both aged 16, disappeared from the prestigious Stonyhurst College
Edward Bunyan and Indira Gainiyeva, both aged 16, disappeared from the prestigious Stonyhurst College

By Hannah Furness, Claire Duffin, and Fiona Govan in Spain

Police in the Dominican Republic are believed to have located Edward Bunyan and Indira Gainiyeva, both aged 16, at a beach resort after they ran away from a British boarding school this week.

The families of a missing teenage couple who ran away from boarding school to fly to the Dominican Republic were last night said to be “desperately concerned”.


Edward Bunyan and Indira Gainiyeva, both aged 16, disappeared from Stonyhurst College in Clitheroe, Lancashire, early on Monday morning.


Local police are believed to have located the pair at a five-star beach resort after they landed at Puerto Plata, but had not approached the teenagers last night, it was reported.


However, the Foreign Office said late last night that it would not be commenting on claims that they had been found.


The pair travelled by taxi to Manchester airport at 3am on Monday, from where they flew to the Dominican Republic.


A spokesman for the school said their families were “desperately concerned” about the teenagers, while their fellow pupils were “increasingly anxious”.


Their parents were thought to be making their way to the Dominican Republic yesterday.

One friend, however, described their departure as an “incredible stunt”, likening their avoidance of the school’s security measures to “escaping from Alcatraz”.


Victoria Bunyan, the widow of Edward’s older half-brother Christopher, said the teenager had been living abroad for some years. She added: “I don’t approve at all but it sounds like he is having quite an adventure. It is going to get him in rather a lot of trouble I am sure.”


Their school and family have not heard from them since, with friends setting up a #WheresBunyan and #WheresIndira hashtag on Twitter to discuss their escapades. The pair ordered a taxi from a firm called Beez, paying for the £50 fare to Manchester airport in cash, The Sun newspaper reported. No one at the firm was available for comment last night. They are said to have paid for the holiday on a credit card.


A source told the Daily Mail that Edward and Indira had decided to sneak out of the school where boys and girls are kept apart and doors are locked by 10pm. The source said: “It can be pretty miserable at a bleak 15th-century Jesuit school in the middle of winter and close friends say they had a bad case of the post-holiday blues.”


Indira is thought to be from Kazakhstan originally. Edward is said to have dual British and Spanish citizenship. Edward’s sister-in-law added that the boy’s father, John, had died from cancer in 2007 aged 85. His mother, Susannah, Mr Bunyan’s third wife who is in her 50s, enrolled Edward at Stonyhurst before moving nearer to her family in Spain.


A spokesman for Lancashire Police said officers were carrying out “a number of inquiries” to trace the teenagers. Matthew Mostyn, second master at Stonyhurst College, said pupils were anxious about their whereabouts. “The families are desperately concerned for them, and our priority is to get them back safely as soon as possible,” he said.

Stonyhurst College, a Roman Catholic day and boarding school, was founded in 1593, and costs up to £29,439 a year.

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