Almost Lost in Paradise


tags: Kidnap, Western Australia,

discussion: 0 comments

By Tony Langer

From the June 2018 issue of the APJ.

Port Denison is situated in Dongara, a small coastal town approximately three and a half hours north of Perth in Western Australia. The town is renowned for its beautiful beaches, fishing and crayfish. Many families take their holidays there every year as the town has many activities and is very family friendly.

In September 2009 Peter Smith took his nine-year-old daughter Holley on a short holiday to Dongara with some family friends. The Smith family had previously lost their mother/wife to illness, so Peter viewed the trip as a chance to give Holley a break and a change of scene.

The families setup their tents in the Dongara-Dennison Tourist Park, under the shade of some trees, and set about enjoying their holiday. Peter and the family friends slept in separate large tents and Holley and her friend Stacy slept in a three-man tent, which was right next to the larger tents.


On the night of 25 September Holley and Stacey went to sleep in their tent. Around six o’clock the following morning a male person wearing a dark hoodie and dark clothing opened the zipper on the tent, picked Holley up and told her not to worry, he was taking her to her dad. The man then carried Holley, who was still half asleep, to a nearby motor vehicle and placed her in the passenger seat, then got into the driver’s seat and began driving away.

Holley woke up and, not knowing who the man was, asked him what was going on. The male said nothing and continued driving out of the caravan park. Holley now sensing imminent danger, screamed and managed to open the door and jump out of the vehicle. The male then sped off. Holley’s screams woke Peter who jumped out of his tent and ran to her aid.

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