Missing mother, children and grandmother found unharmed
A GRANDFATHER was allegedly bound and left in a room while 20 litres of petrol were poured through the home and set alight during a terrifying home invasion.
The actions of the man, 68, have been hailed as "extraordinary" during the incident where his wife, daughter and grandchildren were allegedly abducted from a property in Ootha, near Condobolin.
The man's 41-year-old mother had been missing since she, her two sons aged 13 and 14, and their grandmother, 71, were allegedly abducted yesterday.
Police allege two men armed with a shotgun, knife and an axe and assaulted a 68-year-old male occupant - understood to be the grandfather - and knocked him unconscious.
The home was then burned to the ground - leading to fears there could be victims inside.
Police have now arrested a third man in connection to the alleged domestic violence-related incident in central west NSW.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith told reporters this morning the 68-year-old grandfather's actions were "extraordinary".
Ootha: For hours police held their breaths. After an assault, arson, abduction, a pursuit where cars were rammed and shots fired and threats to kill, there was a safe ending as officers stormed three armed men in the middle of bushland at night. @AshleaBrown7 #7News pic.twitter.com/zzKUebFU4J— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) October 10, 2018
He was discovered near the country residence with a 15cm cut to his head after being reportedly hit with the barrel of a shotgun and left to bleed for hours, according to police.
"He fell in and out of consciousness a number of times throughout the four-hour ordeal," Mr Smith said. "He received head injuries through the assault.I think hats off to him, obviously, his bravery in terms of what he did next, which was, he thought of the others and alerted neighbours.
"He is very lucky, as they all are, that we have been able to resolve this matter without the loss of life."
Mr Smith said the grandfather escaped the home and was discovered by a neighbour more than 1km away from his home. One neighbour told Channel Seven he discovered the heroic grandfather covered in blood.
It's understood the boys were visiting their grandmother's home with their mum while on school holidays.
Mr Smith told reporters this morning all three men are facing "serious charges".
"A 44-year-old male has been released from hospital and is presently going to Parramatta Police Station to be interviewed and charged and will face Parramatta Local Court today," he said.
"All three male also be charged with a number of serious offences which include setting fire to a dwelling with intent to murder, four counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of special aggravated kidnapping, one count of special aggravated break and enter, and also using weapon a weapon to avoid apprehension."
Police confirmed early today the woman and a 44-year-old man they had been hunting were both found in bushland near Blaxlands Ridge, about 20km north of Windsor.
"About 11.30pm officers from the Tactical Operations Unit and Dog Unit, with the assistance of PolAir, located the man and woman," a police statement said.
The man was arrested and the woman has been taken into the care of local police.
The development followed the recovery of the grandmother and boys earlier on Tuesday night and the arrest of two men. The trio had been left on the side of the road while the first two men arrested were found near Sackville shortly after. Police have charged two men aged 23 and 29 with various offences.
The third man was arrested and taken to hospital for treatment and examinations, and is expected to be charged later today. Detectives from the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, assisted by the Financial Crimes Squad's Arson Unit, and North West Metropolitan, Western, and Northern Regions, have established Strike Force Stolle to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
A statewide manhunt to find a car that arrived on a property in Ootha, near Condobolin, began early yesterday morning. The property went up in flames at 5am but it was hours before emergency services were called to the address at 11am. It has been reported police are hunting the man's estranged son-in-law.
The 68-year-old man has been flown to Orange Base Hospital in a critical condition. Police told media they were called to the home at 11am to find it already well alight.
Firefighters fought the blaze before officers found the man with injuries nearby.
Police are expected to provide further details later this morning.