Bizzare end to 'lost' boy saga
By JANE GARDNER
A YOUNG Kyogle boy missing since Sunday was found safe and well in the bedroom of his mother's Norton Street house yesterday morning, wearing the same clothes he disappeared in.
In a bizarre turn of events, his 40-year-old mother was arrested at the scene shortly after 9am and charged with making a false representation leading to a police investigation.
For legal reasons, The Northern Star may not name the boy, his mother or father.
The woman reported her son missing on Sunday claiming he had run away from her house, sparking an intense two-day ground, water and air search.
The dawn until dusk search involved police aircraft, a police dog unit from Sydney, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, police divers, 60 SES personnel from Kyogle, Lismore and Casino and local good samaritans.
Inspector-in-charge of the search, Anne Langford, said police had searched the woman's house several times each day and the dog squad had also failed to locate the child.
"Each morning we started from the home and expanded outwards. We looked through every room and underneath the house," she said.
Insp Langford said she could not release information on where the boy had been until police investigations were complete.
The boy was found during a routine inspection and not from leads provided by the public, she said.
Meanwhile, Casino detectives have cordoned off the woman's house for forensic investigation.
The boy's shell-shocked father drove straight to the Kyogle Memorial Hospital yesterday after a police officer called him with the news.
"When the police rang me I just went blank for a while. I'm just trying to come to grips with it," he said.
He said he had many theories on where his son had been, but did not want to speculate until he knew the full story.
"Apart from saying thank you to everyone, there's not much else I can say right now," he said.
The boy spent the day in hospital with his brother colouring in and resting in a satisfactory condition.
Meanwhile, the cost of the search to the community is still being tallied.
A police spokesman said the services of all involved in the search would be billed to the Richmond Local Area Command.
"It will definitely run into the tens of thousands of dollars," he said.
"The helicopter, the SES, everything, is paid for by us."
The 40-year-old woman was granted bail to appear in Kyogle Local Court on March 15.