The family of little AJ Elfalak is relying on the opinion of a professional bush tracker to help them understand how the toddler spent three nights alone in the unforgiving terrain behind their home.
Jake Cassar has been at the family home in Putty, 150km northwest of Sydney in the Upper Hunter Valley, since Saturday, volunteering his expertise to help track AJ.
Mr Cassar told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday he couldn’t rule out that the three-year-old was abducted, and said his job was to consider all possible scenarios. ‘
Mr Cassar (right) is pictured with AJ’s mother Kelly.
Superintendent Tracey Chapman said having wombat holes and access to water helped increase AJ’s chances of survival.
Mr Cassar queried whether AJ had in fact travelled further from the home and somehow looped back to where he was found, which is just 500m from his family home and was explored extensively in the days he was missing.
The professional tracker remained close to the family since arriving and was spotted in khaki clothing on Tuesday to head into the ditch where AJ was spotted.
He said he planned to head down with his search party and explore the area to find any potential paths that AJ might have taken.
AJ was found sitting in a shallow, muddy creek at the base of what appeared to be a barely visible path, but the question remains as to how he made it down such a steep track safely.
Mr Cassar queried whether AJ had in fact travelled further from this family home and somehow looped back to the dam where he was found, which is just 500m from his family home and was explored extensively in the days he was missing.
It is apparent that even if he did make it down, he likely wouldn’t have been able to get out again.
Ms Grace, along with several of her associates at her cafe, is suspicious there might be more to the story.
But Mr Cassar explained it was very possible that, even with hundreds of volunteers, little AJ avoided detection while in the bush.
He said search parties tended to stay in straight lines and follow a near perfect trajectory from point A to point B, whereas somebody who is lost intuitively does the opposite.
He hoped to provide the family some further guidance as to whether AJ likely wandered off on his own or was abducted, which is what the family initially believed.
It is understood some senior detectives in the NSW Police Force say ‘there are of lot of things that don’t add up’, including claims of missing CCTV footage from the family property.
Raising suspicion for investigators is how the toddler, who has autism and is non-verbal, could have survived without anything to eat for 72 hours in wet weather.
Temperatures dropped to 2C and AJ emerged with just a few scratches from three nights alone in the bush.