In a manhunt that has lasted nearly seven years, New South Wales police finally captured fugitive Malcolm Naden in Gloucester early Thursday morning, and the town of Dubbo and New South Wales residents can now breathe a little easier with the arrest.
Police officers from the TOU made the arrest without incident as they surrounded the 38-year-old on private property in the mid north coast of NSW, but in a surprise, no weapons were found during his apprehension.
The former abattoir worker disappeared after his 24-year-old cousin Kristy Schoolers was found strangled in his bedroom back in 2005. Another cousin, Lattes Nolan is also missing and presumed dead and police have searched for the fugitive since that time and had little luck as Naden is skilled at living off the land.
Police nearly caught Naden in December of last year, but he shot one police officer and escaped, but the NSW have had over 50 officers working daily on his arrest and it finally paid off. He is now being questioned in the small town of Taree and will appear in court as some point during the day.
Assistant Commissioner Charlene York told reporters, "Our people were operating in extremely difficult conditions and we had to adapt our strategies along the way." York said she never doubted they would catch the fugitive and is relieved that the job is finally done.
Many Australians have been on high alert over the last few months and the arrest of Malcolm Naden could finally mean some answers to the loved ones of the missing cousin and a return to normal living for the residents in NSW.