Missing toddler found after three days lost in the Australian bush
“It’s a miracle. He has been bitten by ants and he has fallen over but he is alive.”
A three-year-old boy missing for three days in the Australian bushland has been found — alive.
Anthony “AJ” Elfalak, who is autistic and nonverbal, disappeared from his family’s rural home in Putty just after noon on Friday, in what was initially believed to be an abduction.
After a frantic 72-hour search involving hundred of volunteers, sniffer dogs, and police, on foot, dirt bikes and helicopters, the child was found at a riverbank at 11:30 AM Monday morning, with barely a scratch on him.
Police in Australia said Monday that they had found a 3-year-old boy alive and well after he spent three nights lost in the woods on his parents’ rural property in New South Wales.
Authorities on trail bikes, canine officers, divers and air rescue units searched from Friday through Monday. At midday Monday in Australia, an air search team found AJ on a creek bank less than 550 yards from his home.
The officer “stated that he turned towards him with a massive smile on his face that he will not forget,” Merrick said.
His father, Anthony Elfalak, said AJ had been bitten by ants and that he had a diaper rash and had suffered abrasions.
A pilot of the police helicopter that helped find AJ described his reaction as “absolute joy.”
“We were all emotional and I said to the boys … ‘If that doesn’t make you happy, nothing will,’” pilot Jonathan Smith said, referring to the crew.
“We’ve been involved in many jobs that don’t turn out like this and it’s been the other end of the spectrum and it’s just really nice to have a positive outcome like this for once,” he said.