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Human remains of missing 12-year-old girl found after being swept away by crocodile in remote Northern Territory creek

Human remains of missing 12-year-old girl found after being swept away by crocodile in remote Northern Territory creek

Human remains of missing 12-year-old girl found after being swept away by crocodile in remote Northern Territory creek

Northern Territory police have found human remains belonging to a 12-year-old girl who has been missing since Tuesday and is suspected to have been taken by a crocodile in a nearby creek.

The boy was reportedly attacked by a crocodile at Mango Creek near the remote community of Palumpa on Tuesday afternoon, prompting an extensive search effort involving police, local families and members of NT Parks and Wildlife.

Northern Territory Police Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson said the girl’s remains were found in the canal on Thursday morning.

“The recovery has been achieved,” he told the ABC in Palumpa, about 360 kilometres southwest of Darwin.

“It was particularly gruesome and the result was sad and devastating.”

Senior Sergeant Gibson said the girl and her family were swimming in the creek, which is just over 3km from Palumpa, as part of a holiday in the Wadeye district.

Much of the access to Palumpa is via a dirt road. It is located about 45 km east of the large remote community of Wadeye.

A satellite map of the Northern Territory showing the position of Palumpa on the map.

The remote community of Palumpa is located approximately 360 kilometres southwest of Darwin.(ABC News)

Senior Sergeant Gibson confirmed the remains showed injuries consistent with a crocodile attack.

“It was an extremely difficult 36 hours for the rescuers involved in the search,” he said.

“For the family, however, it is the most devastating outcome possible.

“They are in a state of extreme shock and disbelief.”

The girl’s death marks the first fatal crocodile attack in the Northern Territory since 2018, when an Indigenous ranger was killed in north-east Arnhem Land.

Senior Sergeant Gibson said crocodile traps have since been placed in the waterway and local rangers and police are monitoring the animals’ movements.

“It’s a stark reminder to everyone that the territory’s waterways could always have crocodiles,” he said.

Street sign that says Palumpa

The girl went missing in Mango Creek, near Palumpa.(ABC News: Hamish Harty )

Senior Sergeant Gibson said residents from surrounding areas have travelled to Palumpa to support the girl’s family.

“Everyone is on the scene supporting the immediate family involved in this incredibly tragic incident,” he said.

Aware , updated