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Human remains have been found inside a crocodile at a waterhole where a seven-year-old girl disappeared while swimming.
Police fear a seven-year-old girl who disappeared while swimming in a waterhole in the Northern Territory of Australia was taken by a 3-metre crocodile.
Rangers shot the large saltwater crocodile earlier today after the girl went missing from a remote outstation on Friday afternoon, the Australian Associated Press reported.
Police said human remains were found inside the animal's stomach and forensic testing was under way to determine if they belonged to the little girl.
The Northern Territory News said the girl was with a group of friends from the small local community playing in a waterhole when one of the adult members of the group spotted a large crocodile in the water.
"Witnesses have told police that a crocodile attacked the male adult before pulling the girl under water," Senior Sgt Shaun Gill said.
"Everyone made their way out of the billabong, but the girl went missing."
When a search by the community failed to find any clues, the family contacted police.
"It is probable that the child has been taken by a crocodile," Senior Sergeant Geoff Bahnert told AAP.
If the remains are those of the girl, police will prepare a report for the coroner, he said.
Officers and rangers had worked under difficult conditions throughout the night.
"This is a heartbreaking outcome for the family and the community," he said.
According to Bahnert, the community thought it was safe to swim in the area because they had never seen crocodiles before.