Missing girl Grace Hughes 'returned' to NT police

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Missing five-year-old girl Grace Hughes has been found and returned safely to her home, Northern Territory Police confirmed.

The five-year-old was handed in to police at around 10am, Detective Superintendent Kirsten Engels confirmed at a press conference on Friday.

Grace is in physically good health and is happy to be home.

Where she's been the past 13 days is still being investigated, but Detective Engels said those involved will be held accountable.

The five-year-old and her mother Laura Hinks, also known as Laura Bolt, disappeared on August 7 from the Darwin suburb of Berrimah.

Five-year-old Grace Hughes pictured right, and left with her mum.. Source  Source: Northern Territory Police
Five-year-old Grace Hughes was last seen in Darwin on August 7. Source Source: Northern Territory Police

Last weekend, a 50-year-old woman was charged over the alleged abduction. A group of people are believed to have been hiding the young girl.

"We believe that a person connected with the group that has taken responsibility for the alleged abduction and concealment of Grace was the person that handed her in this morning," Detective Engels said on Friday.

Grace's mother, Ms Hinks, is assisting police with their inquiries, although no other charges have been laid.

"Anyone involved in this alleged abduction and concealment, we will identify them and hold them responsible for what they’ve done," Detective Engels said.

Darwin police thanked members of the community who provided information about Grace's whereabouts.

An investigation will continue to help identify those involved.

Group responsible for alleged abduction: 'Despicable'

Grace and her mother vanished after a supervised parental visit. They were last seen at a property on Hidden Valley Road in Berrimah almost two weeks ago.

A special police task force was established to find the missing girl with the actions of those alleged to be hiding her described as "despicable".

Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Jon Beer said on Thursday the group that claims to have abducted the girl continued to "peddle ideologies and false information".

He said they had no regard for the mental wellbeing of a young child.

"The conduct of this group is despicable," he said.

"NT Police will continue to target this group and any other persons assisting the ongoing harbouring of Grace.

"Police will use every power available to them to locate Grace.

"Anyone who is found to have harboured those who abducted Grace will face significant charges."

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