Two charged over alleged Ootha fire and kidnapping of women and boys
New South Wales police have laid charges against alleged home invaders who allegedly knocked a man unconscious, burned his home to the ground and snatched his partner, her daughter and grandchildren.
The ensuing manhunt, involving dog units and a police helicopter, ended near Sydney, hundreds of kilometres away from where it started.
Two men armed with a shotgun, knife and axe allegedly went to a home in Ootha, near Condobolin, about 5am on Tuesday and assaulted a 68-yearold male occupant and knocked him unconscious, police said. It’s understood the man was allegedly struck in the head with a shotgun and left with a serious injury.
Police said when the man regained consciousness, the home had been destroyed by fire. He couldn’t find his 71year-old partner, her 41-year-old daughter
and two grandsons, aged 13 and 14.
It was thought the alleged kidnappers
and abductees were headed towards the central coast or Hunter region but were eventually traced to the northwest of Sydney. Two men, aged 23 and 29, were arrested that night near Sackville while the 71-yearold woman and the two boys were found on a roadside in nearby Windsor.
A third man, aged 44, and the 41year-old woman who was with him, were located with help from police dogs and PolAir in bushland about 20km north of Windsor a few hours later. The man was arrested and the woman was taken into the care of local police before being reunited with her family.
The 23- and 29-year-old men were charged with a litany of offences and refused bail to appear at Penrith local court on Wednesday. The 44-year-old man may be charged after undergoing medical examinations in a Sydney hospital.
A police manhunt has found the women and boys allegedly abducted from Ootha.