Nation-wide search continues for mystery girl

Police searching for Anna, photo: CTK

The story of eight year old Ondra who was abused by his mother - found tied up, naked in a small windowless cupboard under the stairs - has taken a strange new twist. Attention has now shifted to his allegedly adopted sister Anna who was found to be legally "non-existent". No one knows who she is, where she came from and how she came to be in the care of Klara Mauerova, the woman who is now accused of abusing her own son. Anna disappeared from the orphanage where she and her two brothers were placed and has now been missing for six days.

Police searching for Anna, photo: CTK
Who is Anna? And where is she now? Hundreds of policemen are combing the countryside for her and given the enormous publicity surrounding this strange case she would not pass undetected for long anywhere in the country.

The story of Anna has shocked the nation: no one knows who her parents are, she apparently has no birth certificate, has never been taken to a doctor, never went to school or anywhere where she could get noticed. She lived a virtually invisible life. Klara Mauerova claims that unknown drug addicts left a baby girl at her grandmother's house and when the old woman died Klara took the girl under her wing. She led a "secluded" life because she suffers from a social phobia, Klara says.

Klara Mauerova with Anna, photo: CTK
The police clearly doubt this version and are conducting DNA tests in the family in the hope of finding at least one biological parent. The neighbors of the respective grandmother say they never saw a child in the house. The mystery surrounding Anna may be linked to what went on in Klara Mauerova's strange household. There is speculation that she abused eight-year-old Ondra in order to frighten him and prevent him from disclosing some dark family secret he knew.

Psychologists say Ondra was not abused long term and he himself speaks of it as punishment for being "a bad boy". They claim that Ondra's testimony is "believable" and a doctor who examined Anna before she disappeared says the girl was confused, drawn and looked older than the 13 years she is said to be. She referred to herself as a boy and seemed to have lost a great deal of weight in a very short time. She was also reported to be much more disturbed than little Ondra who had been abused. Right now the priority is to find the girl - and in time the police hope to get to the bottom of the mystery. This is not proving easy since the family have closed ranks around the mother and are not talking. It appears that at least several members of the family were aware of what was going on and are clearly protecting some dark family secret.