It was around 10pm on May 29, 2016 when a walk along Thornton Beach in the Daintree Rainforest went very, very wrong.
Cindy Waldron and Leeann Mitchell had been friends since primary school. Despite Cindy living in Lithgow near NSW’s Blue Mountains, and Leeann living in Trinity Beach, Cairns, they had always remained close.
When Leeann was diagnosed with breast cancer, Cindy was with her at every step. When she made the difficult decision to have a double mastectomy, Cindy was there, and when Leeann learnt she was finally in remission, they planned a weekend away, just the two of them.
They packed up the car, and drove north to the Daintree Rainforest, to stay at a friend’s place. It’s an area people go because of how remote it is. But for the two women, this would make what was about to happen even more terrifying.
For the first time, Leeann Mitchell has spoken to the media about what happened on the night her friend, Cindy, was taken by a crocodile.
After the women arrived in the Daintree Rainforest, they checked into their room, and started celebrating. They went for a walk, and ended up by the water’s edge.
“It was really dark,” Leeann told Sunday Night.
It was then Leeann felt a pull of “incredible” force.
Leeann says she held on as much as she could, and tried desperately to grab her friend. She dived down into the water, but it was pitch black.
Leeann was taken to hospital, where she was treated for her injuries and shock.
It would take authorities another five days to confirm Cindy’s death after her remains were confirmed to be found inside the same crocodile that was later euthanised.
Leeann shares more of her story on Sunday Night. Post continues after video.
Seven years prior to Cindy’s fatal crocodile attack in 2009, five-year-old Jeremy Doble dissapeared in a similar way, and it was believed that he was attacked by a 4.3-metre crocodile in the swamp behind his home near the Daintree River.
There have been no more fatal attacks in the area since.