Crocodile likely killed dementia patient who wandered from nursing home
A crocodile has been fingered as the culprit behind the grim demise of Anne Cameron, a dementia patient who wandered away from her Australia nursing home this week.
Authorities believe the 79-year-old became disoriented within a tropical Queensland forest before she was attacked near a creek bank.
Cameron's clothing and walking stick were discovered Thursday along with human remains Thursday, two days after a massive search for her began.
The remains were about a mile from the nursing home.
"We strongly suspect now that there has been involvement of a crocodile attack given the location of those items and the human remains ... close to a watercourse," Police Inspector Ed Lukin said.
Cameron's granddaughter, Isabella Eggins, took to Facebook to share the news.
"It is my deep regret to inform you that following an extensive search and the discovery of certain items as a result of that search, we have the firm belief that my nan Anne Cameron has passed away in tragic circumstances. We would like to sincerely thank the Police, SES, Fire Brigade and everyone in the Port Douglas community who helped us in the search for Anne," she wrote.
Officials have set traps in the area in an effort to capture the crocodile, which they believe is likely to still be in the vicinity of the attack. The area is also being searched by helicopter and boat.
Saltwater crocodiles have seen rapid population growth in Australia since becoming a protected species in the 1970s and are especially prevalent in tropical northern Queensland.
The animals can live as long as 70 years, over which they've been known to grow as much as 23 feet long.
Officials have urged area residents to report any unusual crocodile behavior to authorities.