Australian authorities reported that a three-year-old toddler was found in the wilderness after going missing for three days as police are investigating the case as a possible kidnapping as evidence "don't add up."

On Friday, New South Wales (NSW) Police responded to reports shortly before 12:30 p.m. that the young boy, identified as Anthony "AJ" Elfalak, had gone missing from his family home in Putty. It was revealed that the victim was autistic and non-verbal, which made it severely difficult for officials to search for his whereabouts.

Missing Three-Year-Old Toddler Found

When the boy could not immediately be found, officers conducted an extensive search operation, coordinating with local authorities, including NSW Ambulance, State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service, and the Volunteer Rescue Association to try and locate the young kid. Hundreds of emergency service volunteers also helped in the rescue operations to find the lost boy.

On Monday at around 11:30 a.m., the lengthy search, which included aviation support service PolAir, was able to spot AJ in the woods. They then guided the ground search teams to the three-year-old boy's location, CNN reported.

In a Twitter post on Monday, the NSW Police announced: "A three-year-old child missing on a rural property in the Hunter region since Friday has been located following a large-scale search." The post also showed footage of AJ drinking water from a nearby riverbank prior to being rescued.

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While he was found to be in good condition, officials transported the young boy to the hospital to be observed. Anthony Elfalak, AJ's father, said his son had been bitten by ants while he was out in the wilderness. The three-year-old boy had a diaper rash and suffered several abrasions.

During an interview after the father and his wife Kelly Elfalak were reunited with their son, they were thankful and considered the finding of their child a "miracle." Anthony said that when AJ heard his mom, he immediately clung to her and fell asleep, Yahoo News reported.

Mysterious Disappearance and Circumstances

Police are investigating the case as a potential kidnapping due to the mysterious disappearance of the three-year-old boy. Some senior detectives in the NSW Police Force said that some of the evidence in the case "don't add up." Authorities noted the claims that alleged missing CCTV footage from the family's property.

The primary cause of concern among seasoned investigators is how the three-year-old boy, who has autism and is non-verbal, could have survived on his own in the wild. He would not have had anything to eat in the last 72 hours that he was missing. Temperatures in the area also dropped to two degrees Celsius in the evening. But AJ emerged from the incident with only a few scratches in what is considered harsh terrain.

It was also baffling for police that AJ appeared and was found only 500 meters away from his family's home after highly-trained sniffer dogs scoured the area on Friday. A helicopter was also flying overhead to look for the boy, who apparently failed to see his whereabouts at the time, Daily Mail reported.

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