Granddad tells of granddaughter's horror abduction ordeal

A Gladstone grandfather has recounted how he was woken by the screams of his 12-year-old granddaughter as an alleged abductor tried to drag the girl away.

TODAY | WATCH: Police allege man 'dragged' Gladstone girl in 'random attack'

The terrifying ordeal ended after a near 20-hour police search late on Sunday night -- with the arrest of a 24-year-old man in a house across the road at Clinton -- but the impacts on the family are likely to be felt for years.

The family, who we have chosen not to identify to protect the privacy of the young girl, were still in shock yesterday and the grandfather said his grandchild was ''fidgety and nervous''.

AS IT HAPPENED |

>>UPDATE: Man charged with 'alleged abduction' of Gladstone girl

>>MANHUNT: Man assisting police with Clinton search

He said the 12-year-old was one of three girls, the other two aged 13, who were sleeping on a futon in the lounge room when a man entered the house about 1am Sunday.

Police allege he laid beside the girls before dragging the 12-year-old outside.

The grandfather said: "He was at the back (of the house) when she screamed and he ran around and jumped the fence.  

"That's when I woke up, and the man had already ran off.

"I yelled out, 'Don't you come back here'."

His wife called the police.

TERRIFYING: Granddad allerted to alleged attempted abduction when he heard his granddaughter's screams.
TERRIFYING: Granddad allerted to alleged attempted abduction when he heard his granddaughter's screams.

The police hunt for the man went for nearly 20 hours, with police keeping a watchful eye on the streets in Clinton from the ground and above in a helicopter.

They found the alleged perpetrator at 8pm on Sunday.

The grandfather said his young relative was staying close to family yesterday.

"Today the girls are all right, they're just down the road with one of their friends.

"They're spending plenty of time together so if they're happy then I am too," he said.

Forensic officers combed the house throughout the early hours of Sunday and said a 24-year-old from the Mount Isa and Townsville region was a person of interest in the case.

Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said "quite a number" of detectives and uniformed officers were involved in a search, as well as the dog squad.

He said the alleged intruder was eventually located in a residence across the road from the girl's home.

"The other two young girls who were there were just having a sleepover with their friend.

"It is … obviously quite scary for the victim.

The alleged intruder did not appear at Gladstone Magistrates Court and his bail application was adjourned until Wednesday.

He has been charged with abduction of a child under 16, indecent treatment of a child, common assault, burglary, obstructing police and several other offences.

The grandfather now questions why he did not wake up at the sound of the intruder walking through their home.

Still feeling shocked and in disbelief, he said he couldn't understand how another person could intrude someone's home and privacy.



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