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I got lost with my daughter, 3, in jaguar-infested forest for three days – everyone thought my boyfriend had killed me | The Sun

THIS is the dramatic moment a mum and toddler were rescued from a jaguar-infested wilderness after three days drinking from puddles.

Police feared the worst after Ludmila Jesus da Silva, 21, and daughter Kyara, three, vanished in the remote forest in central Brazil.


Her boyfriend reported them missing, saying Ludmila had gone to seek help after a breakdown while he stayed in the car.

Their disappearance sparked a huge search involving sniffer dogs, as police said "no line of investigation has been ruled out".

Amazingly, after three days the mum and daughter were spotted by an amateur drone enthusiast who alerted rescuers to their location.

Footage shows military police officers carrying Ludmila and Kyara in their arms to a helicopter on the banks of the Indaiá River.

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Both were said to be "weak" after their ordeal and the toddler was covered in scratches from trekking for miles through thick scrub.

In hospital, Ludmila recorded a video message to concerned relatives saying: “Guys, I'm fine, you don't have to worry.

“I got lost in the woods, but they found me alive, thank God, me and my baby.”

Her boyfriend Valter Moreira Westermann, 23, appeared with her in hospital and addressed speculation he had killed her and the child.

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He said in video posted on his social media: "What madness huh? They said I had cancelled your CPF (tax ID number)."

Mum and daughter were allowed home after just one night in hospital to recuperate at her mother's house.

Ludmila told a local TV station they had been stalked by jaguars through the forest, and survived by drinking water from rocks.

She also picked berries for Kyara to eat but had nothing herself.

Ludmila said: “I was just thinking about protecting her, I wasn't thinking about anything else.

“I thought I wasn't going to get out of there any more, that I wasn't going to see anyone else, that I was going to die.

“It was God, I don’t know how to explain it.

“I didn’t eat anything, I just drank water from a puddle there. Kyara didn’t say anything, she didn’t say she was hungry, thirsty.

“It looked like she was helping me so I could help her, so I wouldn’t be terrified, desperate. If it hadn’t been for her, I would have given up.”

Suspicion

She said their car broke down on September 9 while they were following a satnav route to her mother's house in Morada Nova de Minas.

Firefighters later confirmed the car broke down because of dust on the unpaved road.

A passing motorist told Ludmila she could get a phone signal higher up, so she set out on foot with her daughter.

She said she reached a spot where she briefly got signal and updated her route, but then the battery died.

Then she got lost in a densely forested area, where she saw large jaguar footprints all around.

Valter told local media he became concerned she Ludmila and Kyara did not return to the car, and went looking for them.

He said: "I went up with a machete in my hand to cut the bush, but I ran back to the car and started calling for them, and nothing.

"I got desperate. Then I walked and managed to get to a house to ask for help and then we called the police and went to search."

Valter added he had been accused over their disappearance and suggested police suspected him of foul play.

He said in the TV interview: "They've been accusing me until now that I could have done something, but I don't care.

"The important thing is that they're fine."

Police chief Franciene Ribeiro said the investigation would be closed.

He said Ludmila had told rescuers she got lost and there was no row with hjer boyfriend.

"As soon as she is discharged, we will collect more statements and probably end the procedure, because it is not a crime, it really was a disappearance", he added.



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