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Ica’s disappearance not a prank – family

The authorities said there are no signs yet confirming that missing teenager Patricia "Ica" Policarpio had been kidnapped. Bea Policarpio, Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The disappearance of 17-year-old Patricia “Ica” Policarpio was a result of “deep emotional stress” and not a prank, her family said on Tuesday night.

The Policarpio family clarified that Ica did not join the online game “48-hour challenge” prank just to get attention.

They maintained that Ica had no knowledge of the game, which challenges teenagers to disappear for two days in exchange for points every time they get comments and likes on social media.

 “First, I would like to clarify that I have learned first hand from Ica that she had no knowledge whatsoever of the ‘48-hour challenge’ supposedly trending in other parts of the world. She did not join such challenge. Her disappearance was not a prank,” Ica’s elder sister, Bea, posted on Facebook.

Bea made the clarification to settle the issues surrounding Ica’s disappearance.

“Ica disappeared from home out of deep emotional stress,” the family said in a statement.

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“The reasons for her distress are numerous and honestly, private,” it added.

Bea said Ica is being “evaluated medically.”

“It is our family’s sole responsibility to understand what has caused her to carry so much pain not just in the recent past, but for several months, and even years prior,” the family said.

The family also appealed to netizens not to judge Ica.

Ica went missing in Barangay Sucat in Muntinlupa City on Dec. 21. She was found at a coffee shop in San Pablo City, Laguna a day before Christmas.

The Policarpios thanked the officials of Barangay II-B in San Pablo City, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the netizens for helping them find Ica.

Ica’s father, Rufino, has sought the help of the NBI in finding Ica.

Southern Police District director Chief Superintendent Tomas Apolinario created a task force to locate her.

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