A young girl of age five smiles into the camera.

NT Police charge 50-year-old Darwin woman over disappearance of five-year-old Grace Hughes

Northern Territory Police have charged a 50-year-old woman with child abduction over the disappearance of five-year-old Grace Hughes from the Darwin suburb of Berrimah last weekend.

Her 34-year-old mother Laura Hinks, who is also known as Laura Bolt, is also missing.

Police say Grace was taken without permission by her mother during a supervised parental visit at 1pm last Sunday.

Detective Superintendent Kirsten Engels said police were “throwing every resource we have into this investigation, we will continue to do so until we locate Grace.”

“Our primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of Grace, knowing that this would’ve been a very traumatic event, being removed from this meeting, and separated from her siblings,” Detective Superintendent Engels said.

50-year-old woman to face court on Monday

During their investigation, police interviewed a 50-year-old woman at a property in Anula and later arrested her for allegedly refusing to give information about Grace and her mother’s whereabouts.

She was charged with one count of abducting a child under 16 and one count of attempting to abduct a child under 16.

“We know that some effort is being put into hiding Grace, and that it would be very frightening for a five-year-old child,” Detective Superintendent Engels said.

The woman was ordered in custody and will face court on Monday.

“Whatever issues that are preventing her return, should and could be dealt with in appropriate ways,” Detective Superintendent Engels said.

“Taking Grace in this manner is not appropriate and we know that there will be people in the community that will be able to assist us.”

“They will know where Grace is, and they’ll be able to help us.”

Police say it is possible Laura and Grace could now be interstate and are appealing for anyone with information to contact 131 444.