Missing girl, 3, found dead

 

A three-year-old girl who was last seen watching television in her Queensland family home has been found dead following a large scale search.

Police confirmed overnight that the child, known as Elenore, "has been located deceased" after she was reported missing from Cootharaba, near Noosa, about 3.30pm on Monday.

"Around midnight police divers located the child in a dam approximately 150m from the house," a police statement read.

"Police are investigating the death and preparing a report for the coroner.

"Police would like to thank local community members, SES and Rural Fire Brigade who assisted with the search for the child."

Family, friends and local volunteers conducted a torchlight search on the property, while helicopters and a search team scoured the surrounding area including a dam, on Monday evening.

 

 

Elenore's aunt, Penny Lindsay, said the child, who was also known as Elle or Missy Moo, had been watching TV moments before her mother noticed her missing.

The family searched the property for one hour before calling police. Local SES officer Stan Ryan said 72 fire and rural personnel have been on the scene since 5pm Monday.

"There's a lot of variations that could happen with this, she could be hiding somewhere, walking somewhere outside our field of search, there could be a multitude of things that could happen," he told The Courier Mail before her body was found.

"If she's out there scared and people call out after her she might now answer and know who they are."

 

Police have launched a search for a 3-year-old girl who has gone missing on a property at Cootharaba on the Sunshine Coast. Picture: AAP/David Clark
Police have launched a search for a 3-year-old girl who has gone missing on a property at Cootharaba on the Sunshine Coast. Picture: AAP/David Clark

 

Locals have helped join in the search. Picture: AAP/David Clark
Locals have helped join in the search. Picture: AAP/David Clark

 

More than 100 locals with torches turned out to help with the hunt while Facebook was inundated with comments from those offering to help.

Last night the girl's grandmother took to a local Facebook group to call for assistance in the search.

"Any help would be greatly appreciated but we (sic) just been told police won't bring in divers until tomorrow ... so if there are any divers out there that would like to search dams tonight thanks," she wrote.

Police thanked the public for their help. Picture: AAP/David Clark
Police thanked the public for their help. Picture: AAP/David Clark

"I know that's a big ask but maybe someone out there does night diving in the ocean."

The overwhelming response led police to say they have "significant resources allocated … and do not require any additional people".

Relative Tina Day said "the amount of people who have been helping us out looking has blown us away".

She said it was "very out of character" for the child to wander off. "She's a kid and she explores but this is not normal so it's very stressful," she said.

 

 

- With AAP



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