THIS is the incredible moment a police helicopter spotted a missing three-year-old autistic boy drinking muddy water from a creek after 72 hours alone.
The dramatic footage reveals the moment Anthony “AJ” Elfalak, was found at a creek in the New South Wales Hunter region following a three- day- search.
The young boy who is nonverbal, vanished from his family’s rural home at Yengo Drive in Putty on Friday.
His disappearance sparked a massive search operation at the family’s 650-acre property, by police, emergency services and volunteers, reports News.com.au.
And on Monday the little boy was found alive and well, covered in mud after spending three days by himself outside.
In the clip shared by New South Wales Police, a rescue can be heard saying "I've got the boy."
Authorities said AJ had a few scrapes to his lower legs and his clothes were wet but was otherwise healthy.
His relieved dad Anthony said it's a "miracle."
He told reporters at the scene: "He’s just clinging to Mum.
"I know I was acting frantic, but no one can understand what it’s like going through what we went through. I feel incredible.
"It’s a miracle. He has been bitten by ants and he has fallen over but he is alive. He is alive. It’s amazing.
"My leg, my hips, my ankles, I can’t walk. I have been in the bush for four days with no sleep. We didn’t stop.
'IT'S A MIRACLE'
"He was all wet and he was drinking water … We had searched that area head to toe, SES, police the first day it happened, I went around with the police, I don’t know. It’s a miracle."
Superintendent Tracy Chapman from the Hunter Valley Police District said officers were able to pinpoint the boy after seeing "some movement."
She said: "They were able to clearly identify a small boy in a puddle in a creek bed.
"(Being) so close to water is potentially what gave him that opportunity to survive."
NSW Ambulance’s Gerry Pyke said the three-year-old's spirits "picked up" once he got a cuddle from his mum and dad.
"He was slipping (into sleep) the whole time which (is) not surprising, once he woke up all he wanted to do was eat," Mr Pyke said.
"He got stuck into about three slices of pizza and a banana so he is pretty good."
Mr Elfalak said the boy would be taken to Singleton hospital for a full check-up.
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