Easter miracle as toddler is found alive, 16hrs after vanishing from campsite

A THREE-year-old boy has been found alive wandering through bushland 16 hours after vanishing from a campsite in Central West New South Wales.

James Skillen ventured off from the campsite at Razorback, 69km south of Mudgee, on Easter Saturday.

Inspector Dan Skelley said James was last seen at the camp kitchen before going missing around 5pm.


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Police were called and setup a command centre around 7.30pm while 150 people, including police divers, dog squad officers, paramedics, firefighters and SES volunteers searched for the boy.

Miraculously, after spending 16 hours alone in the bush and exposed to the elements, James was found alive and well just before midday on Easter Sunday.

Police said the three-year-old was found by members of the public on a public four-wheel-drive track roughly five kilometres from where he was last seen.

He is currently being flown back to the police command post where he will be reunited with his family and be assessed by paramedics.

Mr Skelley said the boy had gone missing in “rough” terrain made up of a “heavy wooded area” and “substantial hills and valleys”.

“This little fellow, he’s up here with his parents and a group of other people all known to one another. They’re up here for the Easter break on this campground here,” he said.

Speaking to media on Saturday morning, Mr Skelley said police had been hanging onto the hope that James had “wandered off to explore” and was “waiting under some tree somewhere”.

“We’re hoping that wherever he is, he’s safe and under shelter,” Mr Skelley said.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

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