The desperate mother and grandmother of a missing two-year-old boy have spoken out to share updates and prayers for the toddler online, as police temporarily suspended the search overnight.
Ruben Scott was last seen near the Koolatah Station homestead, on the western side of Cape York Peninsula, at around 5pm on Tuesday, sparking a huge police search across land and air.
The homestead sits close to a lagoon that is a known crocodile habitat.
Now his mum Natasha Scott has shared an update on Facebook, thanking her friends and family for support but urging them to stop messaging her for now, so she can focus on finding her son.
“As people way know my little Ruby has gone missing, I last seen (sic) him at 5:44 yesterday afternoon. I have every person that can help helping to find him,” she wrote.
“I understand all you guys are shocked and worried but please, try to hold back from messaging me. I’m trying to organise heaps of things to help find him and am trying to hold myself together. I thank and appreciate all you guys are doing for us, the shares help.”
According to The Mail Online, Wendy Scott – named as the boy’s grandmother – also shared a message on Facebook, writing: “We have to try and stay strong, love you so much xx.”
Police confirmed on Wednesday evening that they had been forced to suspend the search at last light, after officers, SES personnel, rangers and workers from a construction site in Kowanyama all joined forces to hunt for the boy.
“Officers will retain a presence at the scene this evening and will recommence the search at first light in the morning,” Queensland Police added in the statement.
“Searches are planned on foot, in vehicles and in the air in two private helicopters, two drones and police divers will also assist.”
Speaking just hours earlier, Cape Patrol Inspector Mark Henderson, who had travelled to the property, explained that they were searching rough and difficult territory.
“This property is located in remote western Queensland, in the gulf country. The countryside itself is rugged and challenging,” he said in a statement.
“We’ve brought in additional resources and flown in assets to assist with the search.
“The local community here and in Kowanyama have been great and I’d like to thank everyone for their on-going efforts in trying to find this little boy.”