The grand-daughter of a woman believed to have been attacked by a crocodile in North Queensland says she believes her “nan” has died.
Posting on Facebook, Anne Cameron’s grand-daughter Isabella Eggins said the family believed she “passed away in tragic circumstances”.
“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,” Ms Eggins said.
“She will be missed and will always be loved by her family.”
Police found human remains, as well as clothes and other items of interest belonging to Ms Cameron, 79, at the end of Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas and have sent them for forensic testing.
Acting Inspector Ed Lukin confirmed on Friday the remains found at a Craiglie Creek in Port Douglas late on Thursday were human.
Items belonging to Ms Cameron, including a walking stick bearing her name, were also found some distance from the remains on Thursday.
“We strongly suspect now that there has been involvement of a crocodile attack given the location of those items and the human remains located close to a watercourse,” Inspector Lukin said.
Police are awaiting results of forensic tests but Inspector Lukin said it was “highly likely” the remains belonged to the missing woman because no other people were reported missing in the Port Douglas area.
Ms Cameron was last seen near an OzCare Aged Care facility at Craiglie on Tuesday afternoon.
Police said Ms Cameron suffered from dementia.
State Emergency Service area controller Sean McGuinness said the search is proving to be difficult.
“The search area is relatively flat, however the environment with the mangroves and the swamp area, it is quite hard to get through that area,” he said.
“The teams are persevering, they understand what we need to try and achieve and basically try and assist police to get some information about the situation.”
Traps have been set for the crocodile responsible as searches continue to be carried out by boat along with helicopter inspections of waterways.
The search is set to continue into the night on Friday.
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection wildlife director Michael Joyce said he was confident his team would get a result and asked the community to report “abnormal” crocodile behaviour.
Mr Joyce said the crocodile “may show a level of boldness that is different from other crocodiles in the river”.
Ozcare, the company that runs the aged care facility, declined to comment.
Fellow resident Judith Wright said she saw Ms Cameron walking towards the facility’s administration building shortly before 4pm on Tuesday, the day she disappeared.
“She didn’t appear to be worried about anything,” she said.
Ms Wright said she was very upset when she heard Ms Cameron was missing.
“I was very shocked, we got along quite well even though we’d only known each other a few days,” she said.
“She’s only been here eight or nine days.”
-with AAP, ABC