The Courier-Mail

I just want my boy back: Dad

Body found in crocodile river

- PETER MICHAEL

THE family of threeyear-old Jamal Little was left reeling after his body was found in a crocodilei­nfested river last night.

Police made the tragic discovery in the Johnstone River at Innisfail in far north Queensland.

“He’s my best friend,’’ father Bryce Little said. “I just want my boy back.”

Jamal who lived on the yacht Rapscallio­n, vanished from Innisfail wharf about 4pm on Tuesday.

Mr Little, his two children and their mum, Grace, had sailed into Innisfail only the day before to start a new life.

More than 50 police officers and SES volunteers, a police helicopter, and scores of locals in dinghies scoured the riverbank.

Late yesterday, police divers flown from Brisbane joined the search shortly before Jamal’s body was found.

Mr Little told how he was the last to see his son alive.

He was fixing a car next to the wharf when his son ran past him with a fishing rod, saying: “Daddy, I’m going to cast a lure.’’

“I told him to come back. To stop running off.”

Less than 10 minutes later, when Mr Little went to look for him at the jetty 50m away and at a nearby playground opposite the Innisfail RSL, the little boy, who couldn’t swim, had disappeare­d.

“He’s such a bright, happy, handsome boy. He’s my little mate. My best friend. He’s always by my side. He talks to and makes friends with everyone. I look after him, I’m his primary carer.’’

Mr Little had held out hope his son may have wandered off and got lost rather than ended up in the crocodile-infested river.

“This is just so gutting. It hurts.’’ Environmen­t officers noticed Jamal’s body floating in the water just 50m from the wharf. They notified water police and the dive squad, who retrieved the body about 6.15pm.

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? SEARCH: (main) SES volunteers check the river for Jamal Little (left).
SEARCH: (main) SES volunteers check the river for Jamal Little (left).
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia