Tauranga teens missing since Monday morning home 'safe and sound'

Axel and Toby, both 13, had been missing since Monday.
Axel and Toby, both 13, had been missing since Monday. Photo credit: Facebook/Gemma Rushton/Stacy Whiteman

Two Tauranga teenagers that went missing on Monday have been found.

Axel Jenkins-Rushton, also known as Jade, and best friend Toby Whiteman, also known as Rhiannon, both 13-years-old, were last seen on Monday morning when they left for school but never arrived. 

Their parents reported the pair missing to the police.

Police have confirmed the teenagers have now been located "safe and well".

In a Facebook post, father Stacy Whiteman said the pair have been found.

"Awesome news," he wrote. 

"I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone so very very much for their extreme kindness, all the shares. Your help and caring has blown me away and restored my faith in humanity."

The teenagers were believed to be travelling together in the Auckland area and turned up back at their school on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Axel's mum Gemma Rushton told Stuff she had last seen her child in the Tauranga suburb of Greerton where the school bus stop to Tauranga Girls' College is.

Sharon Whiteman said Toby was heading to the same school when leaving home that morning.

Gemma pleaded with the teens to reach out and make contact so they know they're safe. 

"We are so worried. We just want to hear from them and know they are safe. 

"Please contact us. Please come home," Gemma Rushton told Stuff.

Both children were wearing their school uniforms when they were last seen, but Gemma believed they may have changed outfits. 

Police said in a statement earlier that they were making enquiries into the matter and believed the two teenagers were travelling with a third child.

The spokesperson said for privacy reasons police are not able to release the name of the third child at this stage.