Crocodile attack: Remains found of 12-year-old girl attacked while swimming in remote Australian creek

The remains of a 12-year-old girl attacked by a crocodile while swimming in a remote creek have been found by police in Australia.

The unnamed child was reported missing at about 5.30pm local time on Tuesday shortly after she was swimming in Mango Creek, near Palumpa, a remote town of around 350 people seven hours by road from Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory.

Her injuries confirmed she was attacked by a crocodile, Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson of the Northern Territory Police said.

The girl was on holiday with her family when they visited the creek in Nganmarriyanga, an Aboriginal community in the Daly River region, NT News said.

It was reported that a black crocodile was seen in the immediate area, police told ABC Radio.

Senior Sergeant Gibson said in a statement released at noon on Thursday: "This is devastating news for the family, the community and everyone involved in the search."

She said the recovery was "particularly gruesome, and a sad outcome".

Ms Gibson said it had been an "extremely difficult" 36 hours for the family and first responders, who were being supported by police.

The incident was, she added, a "salient reminder" that waterways in the Northern Territory "could always have crocodiles in them".

Ms Gibson, who led the search, said a boat and helicopter had both been used to comb the area and efforts to trap the crocodile would continue.

Local people and police from the nearby town of Wadeye joined other officers searching the creek's banks and the surrounding area on Wednesday, Ms Gibson said, adding the community was "extremely distressed" by the incident.

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"Croc-searching" began at sunset on Wednesday, but she said there were no sightings overnight.

Saltwater crocodiles are territorial and the killer is likely to remain in nearby waterways.

There are more than 100,000 crocodiles in the Northern Territory, which has a land area more than six times the size of Britain, though fatal attacks are relatively rare. They can grow up to six metres (20ft) long.