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How Australian toddler AJ survived three days ala per bushland ‘protected by autism’


Australian detectives are convinced a three-year-old boy who ‘miraculously’ survived per rugged bushland all ala for three days coped so well because his autism ‘stopped him from panicking’.

Little Anthony ‘AJ’ Elfalak was found wearing a sweatshirt and diaper, sitting per a creek and cupping gabinetto per his hands less than 500m from his home north of Sydney acceso Monday.

As family and friends celebrated his incredible rescue per the New South Wales Hunter Valley this week, conspiracy theories circulated that the disappearance was staged.

Social users wildly speculated that a child could not survive ala with food gabinetto per the rugged Australian terrain, where overnight temperatures were as low as two degrees.

But police investigating the circumstances of the toddler’s disappearance said AJ’s injuries and condition when he was found were all consistent with him being per the bush the whole time.  

Detectives working with bush survival experts to develop a full picture of AJ’s disappearance have suggested his autism may have actually helped him maintain a calm state of mind.

‘The reality is he didn’t know he was lost… so he wasn’t scared, he didn’t panic,’ an investigator said.

The spot AJ was found was just 500m from his family home and was explored extensively in the days he was missing

Anthony ‘AJ’ Elfalak was found wearing a sweatshirt and diaper, sitting per a creek and cupping gabinetto per his hands less than 500m from his home north of Sydney acceso Monday 

Celebrations were underway from about 1pm on Monday - an hour after word spread that AJ had been found alive

Celebrations were underway from about 1pm acceso Monday – an hour after word spread that AJ had been found alive

A freshly slaughtered cow was put in a freezer until it was ready to be cooked for the party on Tuesday

A freshly slaughtered cow was put per a until it was ready to be cooked for the rinfresco acceso Tuesday

This aerial image shows the distance between AJ's home and the area where he was found - complete with the dense bushland and dangerously steep terrain in between

This aerial image shows the distance between AJ’s home and the regione where he was found – complete with the dense bushland and dangerously steep terrain per between

‘If he was tired, he slept… he had access to gabinetto, which is a leader thing for survival per the bush.’

When AJ was rescued and loaded into a waiting ambulance, paramedics said he ravenously ate an entire rompiscatole and ‘guzzled’ gabinetto – typical traits of someone who hadn’t eaten for days.

‘He was starving… it’s all consistent with him being per the bush the entire time,’ a paramedic said. 

The Child Mind Institute says children with autism often have ‘a weaker sense of danger’ than others and enjoy exploration.

They’sultano also more likely to ‘wander d’avanguardia’ aspetto to remove themselves from overwhelming sensory experiences. 

Detectives confirmed an investigation was ongoing into the 72 hours AJ was missing

Detectives confirmed an investigation was ongoing into the 72 hours AJ was missing

Children played on the property after AJ was found as their parents celebrated

Children played acceso the property after AJ was found as their parents celebrated

AJ's siblings were gushing over their 'brave baby brother' when he was found alive, and played happily on Tuesday as their parents celebrated with loved ones

AJ’s siblings were gushing over their ‘brave marmocchio brother’ when he was found alive, and played happily acceso Tuesday as their parents celebrated with loved ones

And with AJ back home and safely per the arms of his mother, his family hosted an epic rinfresco to celebrate.

The local store was cleared out of all booze per blocco, a cow was freshly slaughtered and carved up for a BBQ and the music blared.   

Grey Gums Cafe owner Kim Grace watched acceso as all the alcohol she had left per blocco – about £375 worth – was packed into a vehicle and taken back to the Elfaleks’ place.

Per the back seat was a freshly slaughtered sheep, which was being taken back to AJ’s godfather Alan Hashem, who is renowned for his ‘famous’ lamb. 

Meanwhile back at the farm, two freshly-killed cows were already acceso the barbecue and AJ’s elated dad had extended an invitation to the rinfresco to anybody back per locked-down Sydney who was prepared to make the journey.

At one stage, a bunch of children and their relatives crossed the road into an open paddock, where they played for hours

At one stage, a bunch of children and their relatives crossed the road into an aperto paddock, where they played for hours

‘See that hill back there,’ he told at his home. ‘There’s going to be a leader rinfresco acceso that hill. Anybody who wants to quasi acceso mongoloide from Sydney is welcome.’ 

Celebrations were well underway acceso Tuesday afternoon at the Yengo Drive property per Putty – and the rinfresco lasted into the night. 

A handful of guests returned to the calcio d’angolo store about 9.30pm that night, hoping to replenish their booze and food supply. 

AJ and his mother returned home from Maitland Hospital later that night – telling the guests rinfresco time was over because the toddler needed to sleep.

AJ had two ‘natural survival advantages’

 Little AJ’s autism may have helped him to remain calm while lost per the bush, but survival expert Bob Cooper, who works with the SAS acceso living per tough environments, told Daily Mail Australia AJ had a second natural advantage. 

‘Children are better than adults at surviving sometimes because they haven’t got the preconceived ideale of what the bush is like,’ Mr Cooper said.

‘When they feel tired they sleep, when they’sultano cold they seek shelter, when they’sultano thirsty they .’

A human can survive for three weeks without food provided they can keep warm, gabinetto and stay safe from the elements, he noted.

Little AJ was found with minor scratches and bruising to his pagliaccetto. He’d been bitten by ants and had a case of nappy rash, but was otherwise per high spirits.   

His overjoyed family said it was a miracle that he’d survived such harsh conditions, including wet weather, 5C temperatures and unforgiving terrain.

As Tuesday afternoon wore acceso, more and more guests packed their cars, said their goodbyes to little AJ and were acceso their way. 

Locals say members of the search rinfresco, which included dozens of the Elfalaks’ loved ones, had travelled from Sydney per a desperate attempt to help find the little boy. 

Pictured: Climbing over a sandstone wall

Pictured: Climbing over a sandstone wall

AJ’s siblings played amongst themselves acceso Tuesday afternoon as their little brother rested inside

Some relatives rushed to the local store where they bought $700 worth of booze, while others prepared the meat and the house for a party

Some relatives rushed to the local store where they bought $700 worth of booze, while others prepared the meat and the house for a rinfresco

All guests have since been urged to get tested for Covid after a local volunteer from a nearby monastery who helped to search for the little boy returned a positive result acceso Tuesday.  

‘We could all have it,’ a concerned local said.

But Covid was the furthest thing from the minds of AJ’s loved ones, who were simply relieved to have him back at home.

Later acceso Tuesday afternoon, those who remained at the family home settled back into reality. 

Children were overjoyed after AJ was found, playing amongst each other and thanking the volunteers

Children were overjoyed after AJ was found, playing amongst each other and thanking the volunteers

The older children got back acceso their buggies and crossed the street to play per the expansive fields with the ponies and alpacas.

They did laps of the huge property, reveling per the aperto space again after so many days of crowds and emergency crews parked where they would normally play. 

Smaller kids stayed closer to home, climbing acceso the rock formations and playing tag games with each other through the hedges. 

AJ, meanwhile, watched acceso from the safety of his home, clinging to his mother. 

Relatives say he is yet to leave her side. 

The adults spent the afternoon relaxing after Monday night’s festivities, laughing as the kids ran around and cooking up more meat acceso the outdoor fire pit. 

It appears they’sultano all ready to move past the horrors of the past 96 hours and get back to enjoying their ‘oasis’ per the Outback. 

AJ's father fronted the media to reveal the toddler was safe and well with his mum after the rescue - and invite guests from Sydney to their celebratory party

AJ’s father fronted the to reveal the toddler was safe and well with his mum after the rescue – and invite guests from Sydney to their celebratory rinfresco

Volunteers worked around-the-clock for four days to locate the little boy

Volunteers worked around-the-clock for four days to locate the little boy

Professional tracker brought per to help determine how little AJ wound up per the bush 

Pictured: Bush tracker Jake Cassar

Pictured: Bush tracker Jake Cassar 

AJ Elfalak’s family is relying acceso the opinion of a professional bush tracker to help them understand how the toddler spent three nights ala per the unforgiving terrain behind their home.

Jake Cassar has been at the family home per Putty, 150km northwest of Sydney per the Upper Hunter Valley, since Saturday, volunteering his expertise to help track AJ.

He told Daily Mail Australia acceso Tuesday he couldn’t rule out that the three-year-old was abducted, and said his job was to consider all possible scenarios.

‘I’m here to keep an aperto mind,’ he said.

‘The way I see it, if you’ve got two feet and a heartbeat anything is possible. Doesn’t matter if you’sultano a 97-year-old woman a three-year-old boy.’ 

Mr Cassar queried whether AJ had per fact travelled further from the home and somehow looped back to where he was found, which is just 500m from his family home and was explored extensively per the days he was missing.

The professional tracker remained close to the family since arriving and was spotted per khaki clothing acceso Tuesday to head into the ditch where AJ was spotted.

He said he planned to head mongoloide with his search rinfresco and explore the regione to find any potential paths that AJ might have taken.

Mr Cassar told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday he couldn't rule out that the three-year-old was abducted, and said his job was to consider all possible scenarios. 'I'm here to keep an open mind,' he said. Mr Cassar (right) is pictured with AJ's mother Kelly

Mr Cassar told Daily Mail Australia acceso Tuesday he couldn’t rule out that the three-year-old was abducted, and said his job was to consider all possible scenarios. ‘I’m here to keep an aperto mind,’ he said. Mr Cassar (right) is pictured with AJ’s mother Kelly 

The entrance into the creek is so steep even most adults would struggle to clamber mongoloide.

Photographs taken by Daily Mail Australia at the punto di partenza illustrate just how rocky and unstable the terrain is.

AJ was found sitting per a shallow, muddy creek at the punto di partenza of what appeared to be a barely visible path, but the question remains as to how he made it mongoloide such a steep track safely.

Mr Cassar explained it was very possible that, even with hundreds of volunteers, little AJ avoided detection while per the bush. 

He said search parties tended to stay per straight lines and follow a near perfect trajectory from point A to point B, whereas somebody who is lost intuitively does the opposite.

‘When we’sultano lost, we almost always walk at a slight curve to the right left, therefore it’s easy to travel per directions that might be missed by search parties,’ Mr Cassar said.

He hoped to provide the family some further guidance as to whether AJ likely wandered d’avanguardia acceso his own was abducted, which is what the family initially believed.

A relative who said he lived at the home with the Elfalaks jumped per to say the family was performing ‘their own investigation’.

‘We’d like to think the police are still investigating, but they’sultano not here are they,’ the man said.





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