Police search for man and woman after alleged kidnapping and car chase in Sarina


A search continues for two young adults accused of depriving a 14-year-old of his liberty in central Queensland on Saturday.

Police allege two teenagers, aged 13 and 14, were walking on Coles Hill Road in Sarina, south of Mackay, at around 7.20pm on Saturday night when the incident took place.

Detective Inspector Tom Armitt said it was not a “random kidnapping event”.

“The younger of the two had been in telephone contact with a 19-year-old man,” he said.

“There was an arrangement for a meeting and during this meeting, the younger of the two agreed to get into the vehicle.

“The older of the two boys refused, saying he wanted to go home.”

An 18-year-old woman was with the 19-year-old man at the time.

It was at this point that Detective Inspector Armitt said the 19-year-old pulled out a knife and asked the 14-year-old to get in the car.

“It was reported that he entered the vehicle through the trunk. There are no reports that he was confined to the vehicle in the trunk,” he said.

Detective Inspector Tom Armitt says it’s unclear why the 13-year-old boy and 19-year-old man were meeting.(ABC Tropical North: Angel Parsons)

The vehicle became parked in the Mackay suburb of Slade Point at around 10.30pm when the 14-year-old escaped and ran to a nearby business where police were called.

The 13-year-old remained with the vehicle and its occupants.

A chase involving police and the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter then lasted until shortly after 1am when the vehicle was stopped by stingers on Sarina Beach Road.

“Very high speeds have been detected [during the pursuit]“said Detective Inspector Armitt.

Two teenage occupants of the car were arrested but released shortly after as it was determined they were not in the car at the time of the incident involving the 14-year-old.

Two people were seen running from the vehicle into nearby residential areas, jumping fences and entering yards.

The rescue helicopter continued to search the area for about an hour.

Helicopter flight path map
Residents say they became alarmed when they heard a helicopter circling above their homes on Saturday evening.(Provided: FlightAware)

Detective Inspector Armitt said police do not know the exact details of the conversation between the 13- and 19-year-olds that led to the initial encounter.

“At this stage [the 13-year-old] assists us in our requests.”

He said police are still looking for the 18-year-old woman and 19-year-old man who were in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

Detective Inspector Armitt said they were known to police, but there were no public safety concerns.

Community shaken by incident

The incident shook the people of Sarina.

The mother-of-three Karly Weeks said she was woken up by the helicopter around midnight.

“I came out onto the veranda and the helicopter was above us,” she said.

“My whole house was shaking.

“The first thing I did was go to social media.”

A woman looks at the camera in her garden
Karly Weeks was awakened by the helicopter flying over Sarina on Saturday evening.(ABC Tropical North: Hannah Walsh)

While two of her children slept during the incident, her eldest was also awakened by the helicopter.

“I just let him know something was happening and they were looking for bad guys,” she said.

Ms Weeks said there was “unease” in the community knowing the two people involved in the incident were still at large.

Elizabeth, an 89-year-old woman who lives alone in Sarina, said she was also awakened by the helicopter.

“It looked to me, in my half-asleep state, that it was a truck going through the house,” she said.

“Anyway, he walked away and then came back several times.


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