By Jordan BakerDecember 26, 2005
FOR the family of Malcolm John Naden, this was Christmas: one cousin dead, another missing, and a third on the run from the homicide squad.
Distraught relatives of Naden, the bush fugitive who prompted a huge manhunt at Western Plains Zoo on Friday, are pleading with him to hand himself in, saying it was time to "sort this mess out".
Naden, an unemployed shearer and former skinner and boner at Dubbo abattoir, has been wanted since August, when the strangled body of Kristy Scholes, the wife of one of his cousins, was found in his bedroom.
He is also linked to the disappearance of another cousin, Lateesha Nolan.
The 31-year-old has been spotted working for cash in mines near Walgett, selling opals noodled from a dump and living in Western Plains Zoo. Each time, he has managed to elude police.
Janette Lancaster, his aunt, has sent a message to Naden over the internet in the hope someone will pass it on.
"Pop [their grandfather, who has had a heart attack] is very ill and he needs to know how you are and hear your side of the story in regards to Kristy," it said.
"Pop won't get better until he knows what's going on and nan is frantic with worry and the stress of all this is making her sick as well.
"Your mother is worried and needs to talk to you and all the family wants you to hand yourself in to the police and sort this mess out."
Ms Nolan's father, Mick Peet, told the Herald: "I plead for him to come forward. I really want to find out where my daughter's body is. I still think I am in a nightmare. I am very upset for [Lateesha's children]. It is their first Christmas without their mum."
Naden is a skilled bushman who can survive off the land. Relatives say he is proficient in martial arts. Police believe he has also been stealing food and staying with contacts.