Son now wakes up scream­ing

Fam­ily or­deal ‘ like a movie’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JOSHUA WELLS joshua. wells@ news. com. au

the search in an in­def­i­nite pe­riod of sus­pen­sion. He said that, if the search was of­fi­cially called off, the next step would be to pre­pare a re­port cov­er­ing all known de­tails about Ms O’Don­nell’s dis­ap­pear­ance for the coro­ner.

While there are ob­vi­ous con­clu­sions peo­ple will jump to, Insp Cannon said po­lice had a dif­fer­ent view.

“We are con­fi­dent there is noth­ing sus­pi­cious. It is all very sad, very up­set­ting. I have had sev­eral con­ver­sa­tions with her hus­band. He is very dis­traught,” he said.

Insp Cannon said Mr O’Don­nell had flown out of the Cairns air­port to Mel­bourne last Fri­day.

“I’m keep­ing him in the loop about what is hap­pen­ing,” he said.

With the ev­i­dence at hand, there is noth­ing to sug­gest a happy out­come to any of this.

Fran­cis “Cocky” Watkins, 79, said Mis­sion­ary Bay was a known crocodile habi­tat.

“It’s all man­groves and deep creeks. That’s why it was popu- lar with fish­er­men. It’s a crocodile habi­tat, but ev­ery­where around here is a crocodile place,” he said.

The son of pro­fes­sional crab­ber Sandy Jensen, Greg, checks his pots in Mis­sion­ary Bay ev­ery morn­ing. Ev­ery­one in town thought it would prob­a­bly be Greg who would find Ms O’Don­nell’s body but he hasn’t seen any sign of her.

“No one re­ally wants to be the one to find the body, but it would be good for the fam­ily to get her back,” Ms Jensen said.

In a place like this, a per­son could dis­ap­pear and never be found. It is al­most as though Ms O’Don­nell has been swal­lowed up by this an­cient world of wa­ter and man­grove. A HEAV­ILY preg­nant mother who saved her young son from an at­tempted ab­duc­tion said she was shocked such a thing could hap­pen in Ing­ham.

The woman was 37 weeks preg­nant and alone with her three chil­dren on Wed­nes­day when a 33- year- old man al­legedly en­tered her home.

The fam­ily fled but the man fol­lowed them out­side and al­legedly grabbed the woman’s four- year- old son.

She strug­gled with the man be­fore he let the boy go af­ter another woman in­ter­vened.

The mother yesterday told the Bul­letin her son had wo­ken up scream­ing since the event.

“It is what you see in the movies – it isn’t some­thing that should hap­pen in a small coun­try town like this,” she said.

“Some­thing I re­ally learnt as a mum dur­ing all this was I told my daugh­ter to call 000 but she … hung up be­cause she didn’t know what to say.

“Par­ents need to let kids know how to call 000 and what to say … give them as much de­tail as they can.”

The al­leged of­fender was de­nied bail in Townsville Mag­is­trates Court on Thurs­day af­ter he was deemed an un­ac­cept­able risk to the com­mu­nity.

Mag­is­trate Steven Mosch said the man had “ter­rorised” the mother and her chil­dren.

“She has fled from the de­fen­dant, who re­leased her son but not af­ter ter­ri­fy­ing both of them and, I sus­pect, all mem­bers of her fam­ily,” he said

“Over a num­ber of days he has dis­played bizarre and ir­ra­tional be­hav­iour.”

Af­ter flee­ing the home, the man al­legedly went to Ing­ham Po­lice Sta­tion, where he jumped the counter.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Se­nior Con­sta­ble Tim Mad­sen told the court the man did not know the fam­ily.

“He at­tended an ad­dress where he has no right to be,” he said. “There is no af­fil­i­a­tion be­tween him and the vic­tims.”

The man, whom the Bul­letin has cho­sen to not name, was ex­pected to be ad­mit­ted to the Se­cure Men­tal Health Unit.

The court heard Wed­nes­day’s in­ci­dent fol­lowed a string of strange be­hav­iour from the man in­clud­ing al­legedly eat­ing bread and drink­ing wine at Ing­ham’s Catholic Church be­fore drink­ing holy wa­ter and spit­ting at the priest.

The man faces seven charges in­clud­ing at­tempted child steal­ing, se­ri­ous as­sault po­lice and tres­pass. The mat­ter is sched­uled to be heard in Townsville Mag­is­trates Court on Au­gust 21.

The

Bul­letin

yesterday.

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