Police on the North Shore are elated that the five year old girl who was abducted by a masked man outside her home in Harrowglen, Albany last Monday is again safe and in the care of her family.
Detective Inspector Steve Wood of the Waitemata District CIB says Xin Xin Ma was found by a specialist police unit at a North Shore address at about 3.15pm this afternoon Friday 18 July 2008.
"The family are overjoyed that Xin Xin is now back with them," he said.
The family have made this brief statement.
"At all times we had faith and trust in the New Zealand Police. We would like to thank everyone who was involved. It feels so good to finally get her back."
Operation Commander Detective Inspector Mike Bush said there were three tributes or acknowledgements that he wished to convey.
The first tribute is to the family for putting their trust in police and working with us under tremendous pressure and strain. They remained strong and resolute. Their ordeal can only be described as a parents' worst nightmare. The entire investigation team were motivated by their strength, courage and hope,"
"The second is to the enquiry team for their meticulous professionalism. This special group of investigators came together with only one objective in mind.
"To ensure Xin Xin is returned to her family, safely and unharmed."
"Our investigators went about achieving this goal with a mind set that gave each and every one of us total confidence that we would achieve our aim. The hours worked were long, the pressure was continuous - but that only lifted their performance even more."
"My third acknowledgement is to the media. The public interest in this enquiry has been phenomenal. Police appreciated the patience and restraint that has been shown by all media. It is understandably difficult when there is strong public interest with everyone wanting to know the intricate details of this investigation and whether or not the investigation is making progress,"
Detective Inspector Steve Wood said he hoped that the safe return of Xin Xin sent out a clear, definitive message to everyone, that New Zealand Police will not tolerate offences such as abduction, and that we will devote whatever resources it takes to resolve crimes of this serious nature.
"A 25 year old Chinese national will appear in the North Shore District Court tomorrow charged with assault. The man was arrested this afternoon in the North Shore suburb of Albany. Further serious charges are likely," Detective Inspector Wood added.
Kevin [Kev] Loughlin
District Communications Manager / Media Advisor
Waitemata Police District
Phone 09 488 9758 - Extn 96308 / Mobile 027 281 0271
Email - email@example.com