The search for runaway schoolgirl Megan Stammers and her teacher on the Continent has become mired in confusion.
Sussex police has said it was working with Interpol and the French authorities over the disappearance of the 15-year-old and 30-year-old maths teacher Jeremy Forrest.
But BBC News reported Interpol was unable to confirm that it was working on the case of the missing schoolgirl from Eastbourne in East Sussex.
Neither she nor Mr Forrest has a profile on the crime agency's website, www.interpol.int, under its “yellow notices” section which “help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons unable to identify themselves”.
Mr Forrest is also not listed on the website under its “red notices”, profiles used “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action”.
It also emerged that police, Jeremy Forrest's school and Sussex County Council, had been investigating his relationship with Megan Stammers when they left Britain for France on board a Channel ferry.
Sussex Police last night declined to comment on reports that officers had spoken to the pair last Thursday — hours before they disappeared — and that Mr Forrest (30) was due to be suspended. It was also widely reported that a mobile phone belonging to Megan was confiscated by officers.
Sky News reported a French prosecutor saying Mr Forrest was not facing arrest if the pair are found as their disappearance is not being treated as a criminal investigation but as a less serious missing persons inquiry.
The Europe-wide search for the pair has failed to uncover any confirmed new sightings, six days after they fled to the Continent.
Former Interpol officer Ismail Seck told the BBC: “Usually in cases like this the first week is very critical.”
He said that since today marks a week since they were reported missing was “we are getting into a critical state now”.