Police find remains of girl abducted by crocodile while swimming in northern Australia


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Police found the remains of a 12-year-old girl on Thursday, two days after she was attacked by a crocodile while swimming in a creek in Australia’s remote north.

The remains were found in the river system near where the girl disappeared, in the Indigenous community of Palumpa, southwest of Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, Police Chief Erica Gibson said.

According to Gibson, the injuries indicated it was a crocodile attack.

“The recovery has been achieved. It was a particularly horrific and sad, devastating outcome,” Gibson told reporters.

Efforts to capture the killer crocodile were continuing, she said. Saltwater crocodiles are territorial and the killer was likely to remain in nearby waterways.

The girl’s disappearance sparked an intensive 36-hour search on land, water and in the air.

The crocodile population has exploded in the country’s tropical north since they were declared a protected species under Australian law in the 1970s. Because saltwater crocodiles can live up to 70 years and grow throughout their lives — up to 7 meters (23 feet) long — the number of large crocodiles is also increasing.

Crocodiles are considered a hazard in most waterways of the Northern Territory.

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