The father of two children who have been missing for three years has described his joy and relief at being reunited with them.
Harry Speath last saw his 8-year-old, Serena, and 7-year-old, Thomas, in December 2014, when they disappeared in what authorities have described as a parental abduction.
This month marked the third anniversary of Serena’s and Thomas’s disappearance and Mr Speath was preparing to spend his fourth Christmas without his beloved children.
But after a lengthy search and investigation, Australian Federal Police carried out a recovery order issued by the Federal Circuit Court and returned the siblings to Mr Speath on Wednesday.
“It has been a very emotional time,” Mr Speath told A Current Affair.
“I was starting to lose hope, truthfully, and I guess that came about after the third anniversary.
“It was particularly difficult as that time came and went.”
Speaking exclusively to A Current Affair, an emotional Mr Speath described the three years he spent without his children as “very distressing” and said he was “overjoyed” to finally have them returned.
“It really means pretty much everything to me,” he said.
“It's the most important thing in my life, to be involved in raising my children. What's more important than your children?"
In a statement the AFP said: “Officers yesterday located and recovered parentally abducted siblings Serena and Thomas Speath in Queensland after a three-year investigation.
“The siblings had been missing since December 2014 and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia issued a recovery order in 2015. Police enquiries lead to the recovery of the sibling’s yesterday morning.
“The AFP would like to thank the public and media for their continued interest and support in the matter.”
Before the children were found the AFP previously released digital age-progression images to show how Serena and Thomas may have looked compared to when they were last seen.
A Current Affair interviewed Mr Speath in 2015, six months after the children went missing.
After being reunited following three years of heartache, Mr Speath said he was grateful for the efforts of the AFP.
“The AFP I think have been brilliant all through (the process). They really have done everything that they possibly could in the circumstances,” he said.
The AFP have asked to public for any information relating to other cases of missing children around Australian.
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