A 3-year-old boy who went missing for 3 days was found in a creek, drinking muddy water to survive.
Aj Elfalak, 3, vanished from his family’s home in rural New South Wales, Australia, on Friday, September 3.
A police helicopter found the toddler today, September 6, after days of searching for him.
The boy had been playing in a creek near his home when he vanished. Friends and family immediately began searching the vast property but the boy was not found until today.
Incredible footage taken by a New South Wales search helicopter shows AJ sitting in a shallow creek just 500 metres from his home.
He can be seen drinking muddy water to survive as an officer can be heard saying: “I’ve got the boy. Get on the PA and tell them.”
When the first rescuer reached AJ, he was found kneeling in the riverbed.
SES chief inspector Simon Merrick said: “The SES member put his hand on the boy’s shoulder and he turned towards him and there was a huge smile. It’s smile the rescuer will never forget.”
AJ has been reunited with his family at their home in Putty, north-west of Sydney.
His overwhelmed mum, Kelly, collapsed to the ground when emergency services revealed they’d found the toddler.
She is adamant AJ is “not a wanderer” and fears he was taken into the creek by someone.
The boy’s dad, Anthony, said finding him “has saved me from a lifetime of pain”.
The toddler was found in a “remarkable” condition with only some lacerations on his lower legs, ant bites and nappy rash, according to Special Operations Team Paramedic Gerry Pyke.
Superintendent Tracy Chapman believed the water source that AJ was found playing in is “potentially what gave him that opportunity to survive”.
An investigation is now underway into what happened to AJ, who has been dubbed Australia’s toughest child.