NSW Police deem Anthony "AJ" Elfalak's three-day Hunter Valley disappearance misadventure

POLICE have concluded the three-day disappearance of Anthony "AJ" Elfalak in the NSW Hunter Valley was misadventure, investigators confirmed on Friday.

The three-year-old boy was the subject of a major search operation that ran over three days in September, ultimately ending with the "miracle" discovery of the child about 450 metres from the family home in an area that had been searched multiple times.

Police issued a statement on Friday confirming their inquiries were complete.

"Detectives from Hunter Valley Police District commenced an investigation into the boy's disappearance," NSW Police said in a statement.

"That investigation has now concluded, and the incident has been determined to be as a result of misadventure."

The State Emergency Service were the first to reach AJ on foot after he was found in September. SES Central Hunter Commander Simon Merrick said at the time the member who got to him first found him nearly in the river bed.


"They put a hand on his shoulder and comforted him," Mr Merrick said. "He actually took a knee on our rescuer's knee.

"[AJ] turned towards him with a massive smile on his face that he will not forget."

NSW Ambulance's Gerry Pyke said AJ was found in "quite remarkable" condition.

"By the time I got to him, the SES had done a wonderful job of winning over his spirits," he said.

"For little AJ, everything was on his side. He persevered, he had a will to survive and he certainly showed that."

This story AJ's Hunter disappearance and 'miracle' return misadventure: police first appeared on Newcastle Herald.