'Thank God It's Over,' Australia's Most Wanted Man Says After Capture

Mar 22, 2012

"On his 2,466th night in the wilderness," the hunt for Malcolm Naden ended.

And when it did, Australia's most wanted man seemed relieved, police said afterward, according to The Sydney Morning Herald:

"Sitting on the sodden ground in handcuffs, surrounded by his captors, a lucid and relaxed Mr Naden said: 'Thank God it's over, I've had enough.' "

According to The Independent, "for nearly seven years ... Naden evaded police, hiding out in the steep, thickly-forested bush of northern New South Wales, living off the land and stealing food and weapons from rural properties."

The 38-year-old "former sheep shearer and abattoir worker" is accused of murdering a 24-year-old cousin, Kristy Scholes, in 2005. He's a suspect in an indecent assault on a 15-year-old girl. And last December he allegedly shot and wounded a police officer.

Tips and sightings, the Morning Herald says, led authorites to plant electronic bugs and/or motion detectors in 49 buildings. He was caught just after midnight Thursday (local time) about four hours after a motion detector signaled police that someone was in a remote cabin they had targeted.

As officers approached, Naden tried to flee. It was a police dog named Chuck that "locked its jaws onto Mr Naden's left leg and did not let go until handcuffs bound his wrists," the Morning Herald writes.

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