NZPA | Friday, 9 February 2007
The arrest of two of its residents for the kidnapping of Jayden Headley has shocked Matauri Bay locals.
They find it hard to believe that the six-year-old may have stayed in the tiny Northland settlement without any of them realising it.
Matauri Bay labourer Jeremy Daly, 38, and his partner Tania Thomasen, 36, were yesterday arrested and charged with kidnapping Jayden. Daly also faces drug charges.
The pair were granted bail and remanded for two weeks at an appearance in Kaikohe District Court.
Local resident Andrea Thackwray told the New Zealand Herald she hadn't noticed anything suspicious since Jayden's disappearance.
"But I'm really shocked that little boy was hanging around here and nobody noticed." Another resident, Vicky Corbin, said "all sorts" of people moved around Northland. "Usually the bush telegraph works, though, if someone has seen something."
Matauri Bay camp ground owner Brian Grimwood said police had also been focusing on the nearby settlement of Mahinepua. "If he (Jayden) has been up there in Mahinepua, that's 15 minutes away. It's a little place with a few million-dollar homes but the rest of it is like downtown Baghdad."
Jayden has been at the centre of a bitter custody dispute since he was an infant. He disappeared from outside Hamilton Public Library in August last year and remained missing for five months until he was handed over to Hamilton police last month.
Jayden's mother Kay Skelton and grandfather Dick Headley have already been charged with the kidnap of Jayden who is now back with his father Chris Jones. Kay Skelton was placed in jail last year and remains incarcerated by the Family Court judge for refusing to assist with the investigation to locate Jayden.
A second search in relation to the kidnapping was carried out in Horotiu, north of Hamilton yesterday. Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Page said a 61-year-old Horotiu woman was being spoken to by police.
Further arrests are pending in this case.