SINGAPORE - Nellie was 16 when she went missing from her flat in the eastern part of Singapore on Nov 24 last year.
A two-week search, with help from Crime Library, a voluntary group that helps track missing people, found her holed up in a flat in Hougang.
Exasperated, her mother, Madam Sarah, 47, asked why the Hougang family let her daughter stay for so long without getting suspicious.
"The 'host' family should be held accountable," she said.
The names of both Madam Sarah and Nellie were changed to protect the identity of the girl.
"If my children were to bring friends home to stay the night, the natural thing for me would be to call their parents to inform them where they were," Madam Sarah said.
Agreeing, Crime Library founder Joseph Tan, 47, felt these people should be taken to task.
"They can't simply keep someone else's child in their home without questioning why he or she is there. The law should take them to task on this. It would amount to harbouring a runaway," he said.
Nellie had gone along with a boy she befriended at a void deck to his friend's Hougang flat.
Said Madam Sarah: "We asked (the head of the household) why he had allowed my daughter to stay for so long without questioning her. He just kept quiet and averted his eyes."