July 16, 2024

Northern Territory Police have found human remains in the search for a 12-year-old girl who was suspected of being attacked by a crocodile.

The search became a recovery mission today after the child’s disappearance was reported to police at 5.30pm on Tuesday.

She had been swimming with family members at Mango Creek near the remote Aboriginal community of Nganmarriyanga – also known as Palumpa – 350km south-west of Darwin.

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In a statement, NT Police Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson said this was “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.”

Sgt Gibson said the girl’s family initially reported her disappearance as a crocodile attack.

“The child disappeared and they notified other family who were able to notify and contact police,” she told ABC Radio Darwin earlier this morning.

“It is just simply a really tragic event not only for the family but for all responding frontline police officers who were there assisting the family.”

She said the whole community was “extremely distressed”.

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A boat and a helicopter assisted in scouring the creek for any signs of the child, while police worked through the night with a crocodile management team to watch for crocodile sightings.

No crocodiles were sighted in the immediate surrounds of where the girl disappeared.

Yesterday afternoon, NT Police Minister Brent Potter said the search and rescue team was authorised to remove the crocodile to continue the operation safely.

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