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Woman abducted at two years old speaks out about kidnapping

Woman abducted at two years old speaks out about kidnapping

In 1968, Kathy Wrethman vanished from her home in New South Wales, Australia, after being abducted as a toddler

A woman who was abducted at the age of two has spoken out about her kidnapping, saying she vividly remembers the moment she was taken.

In 1968, Kathy Wrethman vanished from her home in New South Wales, Australia, after being abducted by an unknown man as a toddler.

Her mother Mary had momentarily left Kathy and her baby sister Maria alone in the front yard in Dundas, a suburb of Sydney, while she went to the bathroom.

Kathy as a toddler.
BBC

But when she returned, Kathy was nowhere to be found, in turn sparking a huge police search.

Speaking about her ordeal in a new interview, Kathy told 7News that she actually remembers the moment she was snatched – even though she didn’t actually know what happened until she was 13 years old, when her dad had refused to let her go on a school camp.

Kathy, who is now in her fifties, said: “I have this memory of a man opening a door and telling me to go to sleep.

“And I remember being terrified of a dog, an Alsatian. It was under my bed and kept licking my face.

“There was also a moment when I was in the front seat of a car and I was fiddling with something and made it move. Someone was cross with me.”

The family had only arrived in Australia three weeks before, having moved over from the UK, but their new life Down Under soon spiralled into every parent’s worst nightmare.

By the third day of Kathy’s disappearance, there were still no leads on her whereabouts.

However, things took a surprising turn when teenagers Mark Byrne, John Findlay and Jeffrey O’Neil heard whimpering in a paddock in Whalan – 30km from where the toddler had been abducted – while they bunked off school.

The three lads who rescued Kathy.
BBC

Kathy continued: “They immediately recognised me from TV, even though my hair had been cut really short.

“It was only when I heard this part of the story recently that I vividly remembered being stuck in long grass.

“I was only small so I couldn’t get through.”

The teens were worried they’d be in trouble for not being at school, so tried to leave Kathy with a tradesman, but he insisted that they stayed to wait for the police.

Kathy’ dad was so grateful for their heroism that he gave them each a watch as a token of his appreciation.

Mark still has the watch today.
BBC

In January this year, Kathy was reunited with her rescuer Mark for the first time since he had helped her, having been reintroduced by BBC News in an emotional video interview.

“Thank you so much for wagging school!” Kathy told him.

She added: “I love you and you’re always going to be hero.”

No one was ever charged with Kathy's kidnapping.

Featured Image Credit: 7News

Topics: Australia, World News