Monday, 15 April 2002 - 12:36pm |
National News

Concern mounts at no contact from baby kidnapper

2 min read

Police are increasingly concerned for the wellbeing of baby Kahurautete Durie but remain optimistic she will be safely returned to her parents Justice Eddie Durie and Donna Hall.

"Forty eight hours have passed since baby Kahu was kidnapped at gunpoint in St Albans Grove, Lower Hutt," said Detective Inspector Stuart Wildon, head of Operation St Albans. "I would have like to have heard something by now from the man responsible for her abduction.

"As time passes we become more concerned for the baby’s safety and the intentions of the offender.

"The primary focus for Kahu’s parents and ourselves remains the safe return of the little girl."

Mr Wildon said police are continuing to cast a wide investigation net. There is no apparent motive, despite the family being well known.

"We’re keeping a very open mind on possibilities. The kidnapping had some degree of planning, whether it was directed with the Duries specifically in mind is not known.

"The family are helping us in every way possible. They’re naturally distraught by events and appeal for the safe return of the baby."

Mr Wildon said the baby was placed with the family at birth to be raised as their daughter.

"There’s a strong willingness from the public to help our inquiry. We appreciate that and we’re urging people to call us with any information, no matter how small, that might help find the baby, the offender or the car."

Mr Wildon appealed for residents or people working, playing or watching sport in the Lower Hutt area to contact police if they saw any suspicious behaviour in the St Albans Grove area in the days leading up to the kidnapping and on Saturday itself.

"We want to hear from the offender, people who know or think they know who he is, the whereabouts of the baby and the vehicle. "

More than 150 calls to 0800 150 499 have come in since yesterday. The calls are being processed by staff and the information assessed.

Staff are continuing a wide range of background inquiries, including more door knocking in the Woburn area today.


Released by Kaye Calder, tel 0274 373 020