Crocodile attack fears for dementia sufferer, 79
There are fears a missing elderly woman was taken by a crocodile in far north Queensland after police found her walking stick, clothing and what appear to be human remains on a creek bank.
Queensland Police say they cannot rule out the possibility that a crocodile has attacked Anne Cameron, a 79-year-old who was last seen at her aged care home near Port Douglas on Tuesday.
Ms Cameron suffers dementia and has poor eyesight, and had moved from Canberra to Craiglie about a month ago to be closer to family members.
Acting Inspector Ed Lukin said a search of an area south of the facility by police, firefighters and the State Emergency Service discovered items belonging to her yesterday morning.
“Earlier today, about midmorning, we located a number of items including clothing which we believe are from the missing person. We also located a walking stick with her name on it,” Inspector Lukin said yesterday.
“Now we’ve also located some biological matter which we believe to be human remains. Those items are currently being tested in Cairns. The family has been notified of this and they ask for their privacy (to be respected).”
Officers were searching the creek bank, about two kilometres from the aged care facility. The creek feeds into the Mowbray River, where three large crocodiles — including one known by locals as “Mo” — are regularly photographed by tourists.
Ms Cameron’s granddaughter, Isabella Eggins, released a statement yesterday afternoon that said the family believed Ms Cameron had died.
“It is my deep regret to inform you that following an extensive search and the discovery of cer- tain items as a result of that search, we have the firm belief that my (grandmother) Anne Cameron has passed away in tragic circumstances,” Ms Eggins said in a post on a Port Douglas Facebook group. “We would like to sincerely thank the police, SES, fire brigade and everyone in the Port Douglas community who helped us in the search for Anne.”
Police believe Ms Cameron had become disorientated after wandering away from the Ozcare facility.
Inspector Lukin said he could not rule out a crocodile attack. “At this stage, we have kept every available option open to us,” he said. “We continue to search that area in the hope that we do find her alive. Because of the proximity of these items and this unknown material located near this creek bank, we cannot rule out the possibility of a croc attack.”
Two saltwater crocodiles that inhabit the river and 79-yearold Anne Cameron