Australia's most wanted captured
22 March 2012, 15:10
Australia - Australia's most wanted fugitive - a survival expert who
outwitted police for seven years by living in dense and rugged forest -
was finally captured in a remote cabin on Thursday.
Naden, whose ability to evade police evoked comparisons to famous 19th
century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, had been on the run since
disappearing in June 2005 from his grandparents' home.
missing days before mother-of-two Kristy Scholes, aged 24, was found
strangled in his bedroom and was also wanted for questioning over the
indecent assault of a 15-year-old girl and the disappearance of his
The 38-year-old was arrested just after
midnight when officers swooped on a private property near Gloucester in
the hinterland of the New South Wales state's north coast following a
tip that he was there.
He was bitten by a police dog during the
operation but did not use any of the weapons he had, including a gun
that he allegedly used to shoot and wound a policeman in December.
Since that incident, about 50 officers have been involved in an around-the-clock manhunt
Commissioner Carlene York, the commander of the strike force set up to
capture him, said she never doubted the operation would succeed.
people were operating in extremely difficult conditions and we had to
adapt our strategies along the way," York said as pictures showed Naden
with a wild beard, shackled, handcuffed and covered in mud.
"However, we always understood that every day brought us closer and that our tactics would prevail.
"This was a game of patience and I am very proud of everyone involved."
previously worked as a shearer, skinner and boner in an abattoir and
has been described as a "master bushman" with an intimate knowledge of
the rugged terrain in which he was hiding.
According to earlier
reports, before he disappeared he lived behind a locked bedroom door
where he read the Bible, encyclopaedias and survival manuals.
reports said he often set up crude but sturdy camps on hilltops, giving
him the widest possible field of vision, and survived on whatever the
bush provided while breaking into remote homes to steal weapons and
Road to recovery
His exploits drew
parallels with Kelly, Australia's most famous bushranger whose life was
made into several films. Kelly was seen as a working-class hero despite
murdering three police officers.
The father of Naden's missing
cousin Lateesha Nolan told ABC radio he hoped the arrest would shed
light on what happened to his daughter.
"I sort of felt like
falling to the ground on my knees, I didn't know what to say," Mick Peet
said about hearing the news of Naden's capture.
"I'm just glad we're on the road to some kind of recovery to find out what happened to my daughter and some closure."
An uncle of Scholes said the family were overcome by the developments.
"Overwhelmed, I'm just so shocked, we didn't expect it," Tony Scholes told the Seven Network.
Naden is expected to appear in court later on Thursday.