Police reportedly found human remains on Tuesday in the search for a 12-year-old boy snatched by a crocodile in northern Australia and scaled back operations to a body recovery mission.
Police would not go into details but acting commander Michael White said they had found “evidence within the search area, which strongly indicates the boy has died from the crocodile attack”. “Further DNA testing will be conducted to confirm the identification,” White said.
“No specifics will be given in relation to the trauma or type of evidence located out of respect for the family. This is now an investigation for the Northern Territory coroner and a brief will be prepared.” Local media reports said the “evidence” cited by White was human remains.
Police on the scene said the operation had now entered a “search and recovery” stage following confirmation of the boy’s death. “We’re looking for a body at the moment, it’s very sad,” a spokeswoman said. Three crocodiles have been shot and cut open under a shoot-to-kill order for any crocodile larger than two metres sighted around Mudginberri Outstation, which is about 200 kilometres east of Darwin in the Kakadu National Park.
The boy was taken while swimming with friends in the Mudginberri Billabong on Sunday. A second boy, aged 15, managed to fight the creature off and received three stitches for deep bites on his right arm.
His wounds led rangers to estimate that the animal responsible for the attack was between two and three metres long.
The attack has rocked the small Mudginberri community of about 50 people who live outside the mining town of Jabiru.
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