Sidney, Australia, Nov 4 (EFE).- An Australian girl rescued in a house after 18 days missing is “physically well” and behaving normally, police said Thursday, adding that a male suspect had been detained in relation to the kidnapping.
Authorities, who visited the 4-year-old toddler Thursday at her family home in the town of Carnarvon, said at a press conference that the medical examination showed she wasn’t physically harmed. They said specialists would evaluate the girl’s psychological health when possible.
“It was really moving to see her interact and play in the backyard and just be herself and be close to her parents,” said Officer Cameron Blaine, who participated in the Wednesday night rescue operation and found the girl “awake and playing” where she was being held.
Police published Thursday the audio of the moment officers found the toddler, who told rescuers her name.
The little girl, who disappeared Oct. 16 at dawn while at a campsite with her parents about 75 kilometers from home, was found locked up in a Carnarvon house, about three kilometers from her family residence.
Police detained a 36-year-old man who has no ties to the girl’s family shortly after the rescue.
Authorities continue to question the suspect, who was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries, and he’s expected to be formally charged in court Thursday.
Officers, who have not yet publicly identified the detainee, said he answered questions during the interrogation, without revealing more details about the case.
Western Australian Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch told 2GB radio that the suspect is “in good mental condition” and the investigation indicates he “acted alone.”
At the time of her disappearance, the girl was inside a tent at the Blowholes campsite, about 875 kilometers north of Perth, with her mother and stepfather.
The girl had allegedly woken up at 1 a.m. on Oct. 16 to ask for water, but had disappeared five hours later when her parents woke up. EFE