'Missing' daughter and mum back home from Romania

Ms Yap and her mother, Madam Foo, with Mr Donea and his mum Aurelia at a mall in Singapore. The Singaporean women, who were feared missing in Romania earlier this year, returned home two weeks ago.
Ms Yap and her mother, Madam Foo, with Mr Donea and his mum Aurelia at a mall in Singapore. The Singaporean women, who were feared missing in Romania earlier this year, returned home two weeks ago.PHOTO: AURELIA DONEA / FACEBOOK

A Singaporean mother and daughter, who were feared missing in Romania earlier this year, are back in Singapore.

Ms Cheryl Yap Lay Leng, 25, has returned home with her Romanian boyfriend Alexandru Donea, 18, whom she met online more than two years ago.

In January, the administrative assistant travelled to the Romanian capital of Bucharest with her 61-year-old mother, Madam Foo Li Kheng, to meet Mr Donea.

The pair left quietly without informing family members, who believed they had fallen victim to a scam after failing to contact them for more than 10 days.

Both women were found by the Romanian police two weeks later in Mr Donea's family home in Vulturesti, a village commune about 150km from Bucharest.

Now, Mr Donea and his mother, Mrs Aurelia Donea, are here to visit for three months, reported Shin Min Daily News.

Ms Yap and her mother had booked their return flight for April 16, but returned home earlier than expected about two weeks ago.

In a Facebook post on March 12, Mrs Donea posted a photo of herself, her son, Ms Yap and Madam Foo in a mall with the caption: "In Singapore with my daughter and son shopping!"

As of yesterday, the public post has drawn more than 80 likes, mostly from relatives and friends who also expressed happiness for both families in their comments.

Mrs Donea also uploaded photos of Housing Board flats and Singapore roads in an earlier post.

Ms Yap's father, who declined to give his full name, said that he does not object to the romance and just wants his daughter to be safe, Shin Min reported.

It was reported that the couple got to know each other because of their shared interest in manga. Their YouTube accounts are updated frequently with manga-related videos and songs.

In February, Ms Yap told Romanian broadcaster Pro TV that she had travelled to Romania "to meet my boyfriend to work together on YouTube". Mr Donea had said earlier that he hoped to marry Ms Yap in the next one to two years and settle down in the United States.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2016, with the headline ''Missing' daughter and mum back home from Romania'. Print Edition | Subscribe