There are grave fears over the fate of a five-year-old boy who went missing on the Murray River on the NSW-Victoria border, as police prepare to charge the child's mother with the attempted murder of his 9-year-old brother.
"The 27-year-old female was interviewed by Deniliquin detectives this afternoon and they are now preparing documents for her extradition and charge of attempted murder," Deniliquin Local Area Commander Superintendent Paul Condon told reporters.
She has been released and is assisting detectives with their inquiries, as police prepare for her extradition to NSW.
No charges have been laid in relation to the missing boy who police are hopeful will be found.
Moama police learned that the five-year-old had gone missing after they were called to the river on Thursday night to find the younger boy's older brother suffering serious injuries from a dog bite.
"It's a terrible story, it's a tragic story. Not only for the community, the police but especially for the family. It's just terrible," Deniliquin Local Area Commander Superintendent Paul Condon told reporters.
"I think it will rock the community of Australia...It's devastating."
Police have confirmed that the boy's mother had been released from jail about a month ago for "several serious offences".
Incidents involving the woman and her children are being reviewed as part of the investigation.
Condon added that the boys' mother had also been attacked by the dog, which belongs to a local family.
"Contrary to rumours, the dog was not set on the child. This has been an extremely traumatic scene for all of the first responders involved and welfare support is being offered," he said.
An initial search operation launched on Thursday night involving police, the SES and maritime rescue was suspended at 11pm but was expected to resume at 8am on Friday morning.