Mum Annette Boyd was beside herself with worry when she couldn't find her daughters Liana, 11, and eight-year-old sister Teigan, when she called them in at bedtime.
At first she thought they were playing hide-and-seek but raised the alarm when they didn't respond. Dozens of police and a helicopter were scrambled to find the youngsters.
But today they were back home 'safe and well' after a teenage girl – who had gone missing with them - led police to the building where the girls were hiding.
Liana and Teigan vanished without a trace from Whitworth Park, Rusholme, just a few hundred yards away from their parents' home in Manchester.
Police were conducting door-to-door inquiries when a sharp-eyed office recognised the 14-year-old who was also unaccounted for.
They were eventually found at around 11.30am yesterday. The sisters are now being interviewed about their movements in the 15 hours they were missing for.
The 14-year-old is also being questioned but is not under arrest.
Chief Superintendent Rob Potts said: "The most important thing is that the girls have been found safe and well.
"We understood that the sisters were with another missing girl, and officers were given descriptions of all three.
"I would like to praise the actions of the police officer involved, who acted quickly and noticed the girl matching the description.
"Liana and Teigan are safe and well, along with the 14-year-old girl who was also missing.
"We are speaking to all three to fully establish what happened and will be continuing to work with partner agencies."
One neighbour said: "It's such a relief they have been found safe and well. When they hadn't turned up in the morning many of us feared the worst. The police had the helicopter out and they were a lot of police on the ground searching the area.
"It just looks as if they have wandered off with an older girl without telling their mum.
Can you imagine what their mother must have gone through!