Remains of missing 12-year-old girl in Australia found after apparent crocodile attack

The remains of a 12-year-old girl have been found in Australia after an apparent crocodile attack. Police said the girl’s remains were found in a river system near where she went missing two days earlier in the Northern Territory’s Indigenous community of Palumpa, according to The Associated Press

Northern Territory Police said Thursday that the injuries on the girl’s body confirmed a crocodile attack, adding that her remains were found after an “extensive search effort.” 

“The recovery has been made. It was particularly gruesome and a sad, devasting outcome,” Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson said. “It was an extremely difficult, essentially 36 hours… For the family, it is the most devastating outcome possible for them. They are in a state of extreme shock and disbelief.” 

In a statement shared on the Facebook page for the Northern Territory’s emergency services, Gibson said officers were providing support to the family and the local community. 

Gibson was quoted by the AP a saying officials were still trying searching for the crocodile to trap the animal, as the territorial creatures often remain in and around the same area. 

“We live in a place where crocodiles occupy our water places,” Northern Territory Police Minister Brent Potter said, according to CBS News partner network BBC News. “It’s just a reminder to stay out of the water as best we can.” 

According to the Northern Territory’s tourism site, the region is home to the world’s largest wild crocodile population, with more than 100,000 freshwater and saltwater predators. The latter can grow up to 20 feet long.

“The more common and more dangerous species is the saltwater crocodile,” the tourism website says. “These ‘salties’ side along the coastline and waterways of the Territory. They have a taste for fish, but will eat just about anything including cows and buffaloes, wild boar, turtles, birds and crabs.”

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