December 15 2011
– Australian police have intensified their manhunt for one of the nation’s most wanted men after he shot an officer when forces closed in on his outback camp-site hideout.
Malcolm Naden, 38, has been on the run for almost seven years following the murder of his cousin Kristy Scholes, 24, in Dubbo, New South Wales, in June 2005.
Naden is also wanted for an aggravated indecent assault on a 15-year-old girl and for questioning over the disappearance of another of his cousins, Lateesha Nolan, 24, who went missing in January 2005 from Dubbo, which is around 190miles north west of Sydney.
Digitally altered: This police issue image (left) shows what Malcolm Naden may look like without his hair and full beard, while (right) he is pictured with his distinctive locks and facial hair
Naden, who travels alone, has hid in various locations during his many years at large but he has evaded capture by sticking largely to remote and densely forested rural land.
He has been described as ‘a master bushman’ by Australian media, while police said Naden is ‘totally self-reliant’ and ‘very well crafted in living off the land’.
Two days ago police circled his campsite in the national park area of Nowendoc, north west of Dubbo, but as they closed in Naden opened fire and hit one officer in the shoulder before escaping.
At a press conference New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione described Naden as ‘armed and dangerous’.
He said: ‘He is not the sort of person we would want the community to engage.
‘If he was cornered I’m sure he would be violent.’
National park: Nowendoc, north west of Dubbo, in New South Wales, where Naden had been hiding out
Cousins: Murdered Kristy Scholes (left) and missing Lateesha Nolan (right), were both 24 and both related to Naden who is wanted in connection with their cases
Search area: Naden is wanted for a murder in Dubbo, New South Wales, and he was spotted in Nowendoc, both in eastern Australia
The injured police officer, who was shot in the shoulder when Naden opened fire, is recovering well.
However, the shooting has led to an intensification of the long-running search and capture operation.
A tactical search team from the State Protection Group are among those hunting for him, with armed and camouflaged officers trained in bush skills. The Police Airwing, murder detectives, police dogs and local forces are also part of the chasing pack.
Nowendoc is a popular spot for tourists and bushwalkers, and in a bid to jog the memories of anyone who may have seen Naden in recent days, NSW police have released digitally altered images of 5ft 10ins Naden, with and without a beard, moustache and hair.
There is a $100,000AU reward on offer for anyone who provides information that leads to his arrest
– Gavin Allen