Manhunt after baby kidnapped

NICK RALSTON
Last updated 20:36 26/07/2013
Kidnap baby
Supplied
STEVEN HUME: He allegedly abducted his eight-month-old son at knife-point.

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A dramatic search for an eight-month-old Sydney boy abducted at knifepoint by his father has ended in relief, with a family member handing him over to police.

Zhaiden Mifsud was handed in about 7pm (NZT) on Friday - about 20 hours after he went missing - at Campbelltown police station by a female relative of his father.

"He seems to be well and uninjured," a senior police source told AAP.

"It's a good result."

The baby was checked out by ambulance officers and may attend hospital as a precaution.

His father, Steven Hume, is known to police, to community services and is subject to an apprehended violence order.

Police continue to search for the 24-year-old.

He allegedly forced his way into the Chester Hill home of his ex-girlfriend Casey Mifsud, 16, and their son about 10.30pm on Thursday.

He grabbed both of them at knifepoint and put them into his 2007 Toyota Camry before later allegedly assaulting Ms Mifsud at a highway rest stop, and driving off with the baby, police say.

Zhaiden was in a booster seat and Mr Hume had no supplies for the baby, who was lightly dressed when abducted.

His car was found abandoned on Avon Dam Road at Bargo, south of Sydney, on Friday morning after it slammed into a tree.

Local police, PolAir, the Dog Squad and volunteers from the State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service scoured the area, but were unable to find the pair.

Superintendent Dave Eardley made a final plea for anyone with information to come forward just minutes before Zhaiden was turned in to police.

He also said Mr Hume had a number of associates in the Bargo area who had been assisting police.

Supt Eardley defended the eight hour gap between the abduction being reported to police and a public alert being issued.

"I believe the investigation that we conducted was thorough and proper and we followed the correct processes," Supt Eardley said.

He said Ms Mifsud had been released from hospital after treatment and was distraught over the incident.

Ms Mifsud's sister, Jade Lee, says she reported the couple to the NSW Department of Family and Community Services as recently as two weeks before the abduction.

Her concern was directed at Mr Hume and the safety of the baby.

"Just so everyone no's (sic) yes I did report my sister to docs," Jade Lee wrote on her Facebook page on July 10.

She also said her sister reacted negatively to the action.

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A week prior to that, she posted a general comment about abusive relationships.

"I really can't stand guys that hit and abuse girls and vise verser (sic)," she wrote on June 4.

" ... makes it worse when there r children in the picture cuz if they grow up with it they think it's normal and they end up in abusive relationships."

Speaking about Mr Hume's abduction of Zhaiden, she wrote: "This is what I didn't want to happen this is why I called docs cuz I new what was gonna happen."

Community Services Minister Pru Goward and the department declined to comment about any action taken in relation to the family.

- AAP

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