4 Jan 2012

Man in custody after death of 8-year-old in desert

3:07 pm on 4 January 2012

A 38-year-old convicted paedophile has been taken into police custody in West Australia following the death of an eight-year-old girl who had been missing for four days in the Gibson Desert.

Danielle Lane, of Tjirrkali community, had been taken on a shooting trip by a family friend, Augustine Winter Miller, on Saturday.

The police launched a land and air search when the pair were reported missing on Monday.

A plane spotted their car before ground crews found them about 13 kms away from the community.

The ABC says it is understood their car had broken down and they were attempting to walk the 25 kms back to Tjirrkali.

The severely dehydrated girl slipped into unconsciousness not long after police reached her and could not be revived.

Police say they are treating the death as suspicious and are holding the man in custody pending a post-mortem examination