Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Murray River search for missing boy

Murray River search for missing boy

A "crystal meth addict" mum accused of trying to drown her young sons allegedly told witnesses she "had to drown my babies".

NSW police have set up Strike Force Bulletin after a nine-year-old child was mauled by a dog last night and his five-year-old-brother vanished at Perricoota Road, Moama.

Authorities launched a major search operation involving police from Deniliquin Local Area Command, SES, and Maritime Rescue, and the Victorian police airwing.

Police divers search the Murray River for the missing five-year-old after an alleged drowning attempt by his mother.

The mother appeared before the court earlier on Saturday where she was formally refused bail, according to NewsCorp.

The woman, 27, from Deniliquin, sobbed uncontrollably as she faced Bendigo Magistrates Court via video link just after 4.30pm on Friday afternoon.

The children had been in the care of their grandparents and their grandmother remains by the nine-year-old's side at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

Their house in Deniliquin had become a refuge for the two boys about 18 months ago after they took them into their home.

The woman turned herself in to police in Echuca, on the NSW-Victoria border, on Thursday night after she was apparently attacked by a dog at the scene of the incident.

"About 10pm, a 27-year-old female has presented to Echuca police station, where she was conveyed to Echuca hospital for severe dog bites".

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The grandmother's lawyer, Dale Brooks, said he had made "considerable representations" to both Family and Children's Services and Corrective Services about the "imminent risk" to the boys.

Mr Brooks said his client blamed authorities for the tragedy because they had essentially "off-loaded" the woman, further exposing the grandmother to violence and physical harm.

"The mother in this instance has been a really troubled individual, she's been a long term ice addict", Brooks said.

The woman had allegedly told onlookers "I had to drown my babies".

Police said the woman was arrested and she was helping with their inquiries.

Detective Sergeant Trent Swinton told the court the younger son, 5, was screaming during the incident. "We want answers", she said. "She's confused and she's upset", he told reporters.

A neighbour outside the court on Saturday, said it was impossible to imagine what the grandmother of the children was going through. Others said that while they did not know the mother personally, they knew of her and her "problems".

"It will rock the community of Australia", he said in a press conference Friday.

The couple had taken out an apprehended violence order against their own daughter in May a year ago, which required that she not "assault, molest, harass, threaten or otherwise interfere with" her mother, as well as orders that she should not approach her mother within 24 hours of consuming liquor or illicit drugs.

"Victoria Police is assisting New South Wales Police with their search of the Murray River", it said.

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