Remains of Missing 12-Year-Old Girl Found Following Crocodile Attack

Remains of Missing 12-Year-Old Girl Found Following Crocodile Attack

The remains of a missing 12-year-old girl in Australia have been found following a tragic crocodile attack while she was swimming in a creek, according to police. The incident occurred on Tuesday evening around 5:30 p.m. local time in the remote community of Palumpa, located approximately seven hours southwest of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. The town has a population of about 400 people.

Authorities reported that the girl was last seen swimming at Mango Creek. Initial reports indicated that she had been attacked by a crocodile. Community members and Peppimenarti Police immediately attended the scene and began searching for the child. Despite their efforts, the remains of the 12-year-old girl were discovered several hours later.

Northern Territory Police, Fire & Emergency Services released a statement confirming the discovery. “Northern Territory Police have located remains near Palumpa believed to be that of a missing 12-year-old child,” the statement read. “The child was reportedly attacked by a crocodile in Mango Creek on Tuesday 2 July 2024. An extensive search effort was mounted in an effort to locate the child.”

Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson expressed the community’s sorrow, stating, “This is devastating news for the family, the community, and everyone involved in the search. Police are providing support to the family and community, along with the first responders who attended the scene.”

The Northern Territory is known for having the world’s largest wild crocodile population, with more than 100,000 of these predators in the wild. According to the Northern Territory tourism website, the region is the best place in the world to see crocodiles in their natural habitat. These crocodiles can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh up to 1 ton (2,000 pounds). While attacks on humans are rare, officials warn people to avoid these dangerous animals.

“They have a taste for fish but will eat just about anything, including cows and buffaloes, wild boar, turtles, birds, and crabs,” the tourism website states. “Don’t attempt to feed any wild crocodiles during your stay, and don’t swim in any waterway or camp, fish, or walk in any area where crocodile hazard signs are posted. The best way to avoid getting hurt is to avoid crocodiles in the wild altogether.”

The girl was reported missing on Tuesday after the attack near the remote Northern Territory community of Palumpa. She had last been seen swimming at Mango Creek, about 350km southwest of Darwin, and was reported missing around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Police confirmed on Thursday that they had located remains at a riverbed after an extensive search.

Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson described the recovery as “particularly gruesome and a sad, devastating outcome.” She noted that it had been an “extremely difficult” 36 hours for the family and first responders, and police were providing support to them.

“For the family, it is the most devastating outcome possible for them. They are in a state of extreme shock and disbelief,” Gibson said. “It’s not the outcome we were hoping for, but for the family, at least there is some small element of closure.”

Gibson said police believe a crocodile was involved, and trapping would continue in the waterway. “Investigations will continue; that’s a long and protracted matter,” she said. “The search element will still continue insofar as the croc traps and monitoring the activities in the waterways.”

Gibson emphasized that the incident was a “salient reminder” that waterways in the Northern Territory “could always have crocodiles in them.” She led the search, which involved a boat and helicopter to comb the area. Community members also participated in foot searches alongside police on Wednesday.

“The child was believed to be in the water with other family members prior to her going missing,” Gibson said. “The child disappeared, and they notified other family members, who were then able to notify and contact police.”

The family and local community were “extremely distressed,” with people traveling from outlying communities to Palumpa to support the family. “It is just simply a very tragic event, not only for the family but for all responding frontline police officers who are there assisting the family. It’s tragic,” Gibson added.

The waterways of the West Daly region of the Northern Territory, where Palumpa is located, are home to both saltwater and freshwater crocodiles. Saltwater crocodiles are larger, more dangerous, and aggressive to humans, growing up to six meters in length. Freshwater crocodiles can reach up to three meters in length and have been known to attack people.

Australian police on Thursday confirmed that they have found remains believed to be those of the missing 12-year-old child, reportedly attacked by a crocodile in Northern Territory. The child was last seen on Tuesday evening while swimming in Mango Creek near Palumpa, a remote settlement about seven hours’ drive from Darwin.

Northern Territory police confirmed the discovery and said, “Initial reports stated the child had been attacked by a crocodile.” The remains were found after an extensive search of the creek. Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson expressed the community’s sorrow, saying, “This is devastating news for the family, the community, and everyone involved in the search.”

The child and family were visiting the creek for holidays when the incident occurred. Witnesses reported seeing a black crocodile in the immediate area, according to police statements to ABC Radio.

Crocodile attacks in the Northern Territory, which has over 100,000 crocodiles, are rare but not unheard of. The region’s crocodiles can grow up to 6 meters (20 feet) long. In 2013, a 4.5-meter (15-foot) crocodile was shot after stalking locals near Palumpa.

The Northern Territory police have expressed their condolences to the affected family and community, emphasizing the rarity yet the severity of such incidents. In 2017, a man survived a non-fatal crocodile attack in the same area. Earlier this year, another crocodile was shot, cooked, and eaten after menacing a different Northern Territory community.

Source: ABC Radio, Northern Territory Police, Fire & Emergency Services, Northern Territory Tourism Website, CNN, Reuters

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top