Mother charged after four years on the run
A QUEENSLAND mother has been charged with child stealing after she was found with her two children in regional NSW.
The woman is in police custody in Brisbane and will face the magistrate on Monday, charged with two counts of child stealing.
It's been four years since the children's father last saw them.
"It's been a lot of heartache but now it's over, hopefully everything settles down pretty quickly," the twins' godfather told The Courier Mail.
The children, from Townsville, were aged seven when they were allegedly abducted by their mother in April 2014. After a lengthy police operation, they were found hiding in Taree on Friday morning.
The 46-year-old woman appeared calm and resigned as she was extradited by police to the Brisbane holding facility on Saturday night. Asked if she had any words for her daughters, she said: "I love them".
The girl's father has not seen or heard from them since they disappeared in April 2014.
Lawyer Antonious Abdelshahied said the girls' father found them in good spirits considering what they had been through.
"His main priority … is to ensure the children are brought back safely to Townsville in their usual surroundings at home and school and some semblance of a normal life," he said.
The mother appeared in Taree Local Court on Friday where an extradition to Queensland was approved.
She is set to face Brisbane Magistrates Court on May 7 on the two counts of child stealing.
The woman's parents spoke with the girls on the phone and said they were excited to know the girls were alive and well.
The children were recovered after an extensive joint investigation by Australian Federal Police and their Queensland counterparts.
While it's believed their father is unaware of how the children and their mother were located, on Friday he travelled over 600km to Taree for an emotional reunion with the girls. This came after an ongoing media campaign was mounted to try to locate them.
Police said in 2014 that they did not fear for the safety of the children in the care of their mother.