'Don't blame the croc': Father of missing attack victim makes public plea

Caity Stone

The family of crocodile victim Cindy Waldron has visited the Queensland beach where she was taken and have said they don't want the crocodile that took their beloved family member killed.

Her father tearfully told 7 News, "Don't blame the croc, he was just in his habitat".

He has instead have paid tribute to his 46-year-old daughter who was taken on Sunday night.

The victim's father and sister have spoken out about Cindy's tradgic disappearance. Source: 7 News.

"I'm not sure why they take the good ones so young but we need to be here at this beach and cry," the victim's father Pat Waldron told 7 News.

"We came to get a body but there's no body to get".

Cindy's heartbroken family travelled from New Zealand and touched down in Cairns late Thursday night, to discuss the search strategy with police to find their loving family member.

Crocodile attack victim Cindy Waldron. Photo: Facebook

The 46 year-old Lithgow woman was holidaying in Cape Tribulation, celebrating her friend Leeanne Mitchell's cancer recovery.

They friends were swimming in Thornton Beach, when it's believed a salt water crocodile snatched Cindy by the leg, managing to drag her away.

Leeanne tried to save her friend, but the apex predator was too strong.

It’s reported that when she was initially bitten she screamed "a croc has got me".

The victim's friend is still recovering in Mossman Hospital, suffering from shock.

"She was the most amazing person you could ever want to meet kind caring passionate generous to a fault she would do anything for anyone...she would have been out here searching," the victim's sister, Anna-lee Annett told 7 News.

SES volunteers and police have been scouring the area for four days, but authorities say the search has now become a recovery operation for the body of Waldron.

The search and rescue effort resumed again on Monday morning. Source: 7 News.
The search for the missing woman has been extensive. Source: 7 News.

Cindy's father Patrick says he was unsure whether his daughter was aware of the risks, but she would often do “crazy things”.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection have set up three croc traps in Copper Creek, in a desperate bid to capture the croc that took her.

In light of the suspected attack, the Palaszczuk Government is taking action against the reptiles, today announcing 5.8 million dollars for a Crocodile Management Program.

A memorial for Cindy is being planned in her home town in New Zealand, while her devastated family remain in the Far North, desperate for answers.

New Zealand native Cindy Waldron lived in NSW for 18 years and was reportedly in QLD visiting friends. Photo: Facebook

On Monday MP Warren Entsch said the attack must not spark a hysterical debate about crocodile management in his electorate.

"You can't legislate against human stupidity," he told AAP.

"This is a tragedy, but it was avoidable. There are warning signs everywhere up there."

Mr Entsch said he feared the attack might spark a reactive debate about how to manage crocodiles, but people must remember the attack happened inside a national park in an area where visitors are warned about the dangers.

"Let's not start vendettas. It's hard enough for some families to make a quid up there in the Daintree, showcasing crocs in their environment," he said.

The woman has been missing since Sunday night.

"People have to have some level of responsibility for their own actions."

A spokeswoman for Queensland Ambulance Service said paramedics were called to the scene about 11pm after reports the woman was ‘taken by a crocodile’.

A Queensland crocodile hunter told 7 News crews had been searching along the beach and nearby creeks since Sunday night.

“We’ve been up all night and this morning,” Ernie Dillon said.

The woman reportedly went missing at Cape Tribulation's Thornton Beach.

“Local SES and just me, and a helicopter last night… they’ve been having a good look”.

On May 17, 72 Noel Ramage drowned after he was attacked by a crocodile while in a boat with his mate near Darwin.

His friend was trapped for three hours in mangroves before he was rescued.

Newsbreak – June 1