One of Australia’s most-wanted men, Malcolm Naden, was caught on Friday in the early-morning hour’s local time after hiding out for seven years in a dense forest north of Sydney.
Naden, 38, is wanted for the 2005 murder of Kristy Scholes, 24, who was found strangled to death in his bedroom at his grandparent’s house. He also had two charges of sexual assault on a 15-year-old girl. In 2011 while trying to hunt him down he was charged with shooting a police officer, who came across him at one of his makeshift shelters in the forest.
He was a former slaughterhouse worker who had eluded capture in the forest and survived by living off the land, killing animals such as kangaroos for food. He would also at times, break into isolated homes to gain supplies before slipping back into what was called almost inaccessible bush land.
After the December 2011 shooting of the officer, police were on a around the clock search of Naden. After receiving a tip on his location, police raided his camp with the help of a police dog who bit Naden during the raid in the leg. Police found loaded weapons on the site, but no shots were exchanged.
“Australia’s most wanted man is behind bars,” New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said. He called Naden a “master bushman,” an Australian term for a wilderness survival expert.
“He has been in this area for a number of years. He knows it better than the back of his hand,” Scipione said.
A very dirty Naden was taken to a hospital for treatment of the dog bite then later to jail under heavy guard. The equivalent of $250,000 American dollars was offered for Naden’s capture, one of Australia’s highest bounties placed on an outlaw.