Published: Wed, December 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Body of woman found after two weeks lost in the Australian outback

Body of woman found after two weeks lost in the Australian outback

Ms McBeath-Riley said she was "worried to death" about her two friends who had meant to go towards the Stuart Highway, about 22 kilometres from where they separated.

A body, believed to be that of missing hiker Claire Hockridge, has been found in Central Australia.

Mr Phu had split two days earlier from the third person, Ms Claire Hockridge, who was said to be "still fine" at that point, as police continued an aerial search for the 46-year-old.

Ms Hockridge's friend Phu Tran, 40, and her partner Tamra McBeath-Riley, 52, were both found and rescued on Tuesday morning and Sunday evening respectively.

The body was found 38km southeast of the Stuart Well roadhouse and 8.5km east of the highway.

"Police located the body, which is believed to be that Claire Hockridge during search efforts", Northern Territory police said in an emailed statement.

Mr Tran told Mr Fogarty he had left Ms Hockridge behind to look for help.

"We are all grieving and exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster that we've ridden", she told reporters.

Claire Hockridge had two daughters, Teagan and Tahlia, and a grandchild.

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Police had originally hoped that Hockridge would be found alive after she and Phu Tran found water, though the pair separated some time before he was found.

"Ted, the landowner near the cattle farm, he's a battler, he's got 1,000 head of cattle and he dropped everything to make sure I was all right", Tran told reporters.

Formal identification is yet to be conducted, said police, and they will prepare a report for the coroner.

Mr Tran was located by a pastoralist conducting bore runs in the area on Tuesday.

McBeath-Riley and the dog were rescued by a search helicopter on Sunday after a cattle rancher alerted police to suspicious tire tracks, which lead searchers to the abandoned pickup truck.

They stayed there for several days, digging into sand below the vehicle to shelter from the sun and surviving on minimal rations.

For a few days, the group stayed close to the vehicle, surviving on the limited supplies they had packed, McBeath-Riley said.

They had used up all their supplies of water, as well as some vodka drinks, biscuits and beef noodles they had in the vehicle.

The group had told people they were going on a trip out of Alice Springs on November 19 and police announced they were missing on November 27.

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