Police have found Claire Hockridge (right) who was missing in Central Australia. Her partner Tamra McBeath-Riley was found on Sunday.
Police have found Claire Hockridge (right) who was missing in Central Australia. Her partner Tamra McBeath-Riley was found on Sunday.

Missing woman's body found

A BODY, believed to be that of missing Alice Springs local Claire Hockridge, has been found by police in Central Australia.

Ms Hockridge, 46, was the only remaining person in a trio police were still searching for but today they located her.

Formal identification is yet to be conducted and police will prepare a report for the Coroner.

It comes after travelling companion Phu Tran was found walking along a Palmer Valley cattle station fence on Tuesday.

Ms Hockridge's partner, Tamra McBeath-Riley, was also found alive on Sunday with their dog Raya.

The trio had told friends and family they were going for a daytrip drive south of Alice Springs on November 19, but failed to return home.

They were reported missing four days later by the daughter of one of the women.

On Tuesday, Alice Springs Superintendent Pauline Vicary said Mr Tran and Ms Hockridge separated on about Sunday when they reached the boundary fence of the station.

 

A map featuring estimates of where Tamra McBeath-Riley, Claire Hockridge and Phu Tran were found south of Alice Springs
A map featuring estimates of where Tamra McBeath-Riley, Claire Hockridge and Phu Tran were found south of Alice Springs

 

She said Mr Tran had told them when they separated Ms Hockridge was okay.

"(They) got to the boundary fence and he was still with Claire, he decided to follow the fence line, and he left her there," Supt Vicary said.

"He continued to walk along the fence line for two days and approached the pastoralist today and the first thing he did was get some water."

Supt Vicary said Mr Phu was slightly disoriented but otherwise appeared well.

"(He) had some water and the pastoralist took him to the homestead and gave him a feed," she said.

"I don't know if this is unprecedented but if you believe in miracles, I'm saying it's a miracle."

 

 

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Ms McBeath-Riley was found on Sunday, close to the trio's car.

Two weeks ago, the three had set out for Chambers Pillar, some sandstone formations about 160km south of Alice on rough cattle station tracks.

But the direct way there on Jacana Rd was too rough so Ms McBeath-Riley drove along the Old Stuart Hwy and was planning on turning down Merrivale Rd, the old stock route, to meet up with Jacana Rd. But they missed the turn and end up driving through a gate further along.

"And I took a wrong turn basically and ended up being bogged, um yeah, I experienced something I wouldn't want to experience again," Ms McBeath-Riley said.

She said the trio did not move from the car for two or three days, after they ran out of supplies - they had just a packet of biscuits and beef noodles between them.

"(We left the car) just through looking for shelter because where we got bogged there were no trees or anything," she said.

"We tried several times, many times, to try to get out but we just couldn't get out."


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