LONDON (AP) _ A 12-year-old boy spent almost two weeks fending for himself after his mother disappeared, police said Sunday.

Rufus Pollack, from southwest London, fed and clothed himself and went to school for 12 days after his mother Jill Parker, 53, left home on the evening of Dec. 7 and never returned.

Police were alerted to Parker's disappearance on Dec. 19 by a co-worker and the boy was placed in the care of local authorities.

The boy's mother has suffered depression but has no record of disappearing, police said. ``We ... appeal for anyone with information to come forward so she may be reunited with her son, who is obviously missing her, particularly at this time of year,'' Scotland Yard said in a statement.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper, quoting an unidentified police source, said the boy did not contact the authorities, as he feared he might get his mother into trouble. The newspaper said the boy's father died three years ago.