$10K reward issued for missing girl's return

A $10,000 reward has been issued for information about Pearl Rose Gavaghan Da Massa, a seven-year-old girl taken from her home in Manchester, England, and taken to Toronto by her mother.

Pearl Rose Gavaghan Da Massa, 7, was taken to Toronto by her mother

Police are worried that Pearl Rose Gavaghan Da Massa, 7, is suffering after more than two years in hiding with her mother Helen. (MissingPearl.ca)

The Missing Children Society of Canada has posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to the return of Pearl Rose Gavaghan Da Massa, a seven-year-old girl taken from her home in Manchester, England, and brought to Toronto by her mother Helen in 2008.

After stops in Mexico and Texas, police say Helen arrived in Toronto in January 2009 with Pearl. The two lived in shelters, they said.

A tip led police to a shelter in the Parkdale in February 2010, but Helen fled with her daughter and has not been seen since.  

Henry Da Massa, Pearl's father, moved to Toronto last year to search for the girl and has made public appeals for his daughter's safe return.

U.K. authorities have issued an international arrest and extradition warrants for Helen Gavaghan's arrest after the British High Court ruled it was illegal for her to have taken Pearl out of England. Police believe the pair may be using aliases.

Wednesday is Pearl's seventh birthday and police believe the girl may be suffering after spending more than two years in hiding.

"A five-year-old girl on the run is not a healthy situation," said Det. Rick Mooney of the Toronto police fugitive squad. "People that were involved with Pearl did see some signs, whether they want to call it neglect, just some issues … we'd really like to see Pearl just stop being put in a position of being on the run."

Pearl Gavaghan Da Massa's father Henry Da Massa has asked anyone with information about his daughter's whereabouts to come forward. ((CBC))

Amanda Pick, executive director with the Missing Children Society, said she hopes the reward will speed Pearl's safe return.

"This is not just a little girl who's travelling with her mother," said Pick.

"She is not going to school, she's not receiving proper health care, she's not able to be a child. We're asking Canadians to step up and be aware and help provide information that will bring Pearl home."

CBC News  spoke with people from the Parkdale community that knowingly sheltered Helen and Pearl during their time in Toronto. They have shared some information with police.

They told CBC they had reasons for hiding Helen and Pearl in the city and claim they have left Toronto, but do not know their current location.

Police say they believe Pearl and her mother are in Canada.