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Baby Kahu Found Safe And Well

21 April 2002

Baby Kahurautete Durie is safe, well and back in the arms of her parents Justice Eddie Durie and lawyer Donna Hall.

Police swooped on a house in the central North Island early this evening and found the eight month old baby. She has been checked by a doctor and appears to be well.

A man is now being interviewed by police in relation to the abduction.

Detective Inspector Stuart Wildon said he and other key staff involved in the nine-day long inquiry personally told Kahu’s parents tonight at the Lower Hutt Police Station that their daughter was safe.

"Their reaction was the same as parents the world over," he said. "They’ve been through a tremendously emotional time and are just so grateful to have their wee daughter back.

"From the police perspective it is the best result we could ever wish to have."

Kahu was flown by police helicopter Eagle to Wellington Airport where she was reunited with her parents mid evening. Donna Hall and Justice Durie have asked media to continue to respect their privacy until they feel able to publicly talk about their ordeal.

Speaking through police, the relieved but elated couple thanked everyone for the support the family has received since Kahu was abducted about 11.30am, Saturday 13 April.

"Words cannot express what we truly feel. Thank you so very much."

Mr Wildon also praised the cooperation of public and the media. "There is still a large amount of inquiry work to be done before this investigation is over but the primary goal of getting baby Kahu back home has been achieved."

Mr Wildon said the focus now is on the offenders and the legal process. "This means many aspects of the inquiry still cannot be discussed.

"Baby Kahu’s safety has always been our first consideration. To have revealed information about the work of various teams involved would have jeopardised the baby’s life.

"We adopted the only investigative approach open to us, at the same time keeping the public and the media as best informed as we could.

"Thank you to all those who have helped with information and support in so many different ways," Mr Wildon said. "The public of New Zealand has been right behind us in getting little Kahu back home."

Ends

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