Body of missing woman found in Outback

Nellie Chapman
December 4, 2019

The body has not been identified but it is believed to be 46-year-old Claire Hockridge, Northern Territory Police said.

She was with a group of three that had been missing in the outback since November 19, before her two companions were found.

Mr Tran (pictured) and Mrs Hockridge went in a westerly direction after their auto got stuck while Miss McBeath-Riley headed in a northerly direction where she found a waterhole.

Supt Pauline Vicary, from NT Police, said the pair had managed to find groundwater to drink, describing their survival as a "miracle".

One of them, Phu Tran, 40, was found on Tuesday by a local farmer at a cattle station near Alice Springs.

The body was found 38km southeast of the Stuart Well roadhouse and 8.5km east of the highway. They believed she would have had little to no water supplies left.

Ms Hockridge's emotional triplet sisters Sarah and Melinda told reporters it had been a "tremendously hard and agonising time".

"It may have been that she was exhausted and didn't feel like she could continue to go", she said.

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"Even though Claire has died in bad circumstances, we are glad Tamra and Phu have been found alive and well and we're extremely grateful for everyone involved in that".

Mr Tran was found by a pastoralist who was conducting a bore check at the Palmer Valley station south of Alice Springs.

Teagan posted on social media: "Devastated & heartbroken doesn't reach our pain in this time; we as a family appreciate the public's respect for our time of grief & while we come to terms with this reality".

Police warned today that Ms Hockridge had been missing in remote Central Australia for more than two weeks with limited to no water supplies.

Police say formal identification of the body is yet to be conducted and a report in being prepared for the Coroner.

The trio was reported missing on November 23 and police began an air search three days later, initially focussing on areas south of Alice Springs near Owen Springs, Stuarts Well and Rainbow Valley. "At night they could sleep in the vehicle".

Tran was found three days after his friend Tamra McBeath-Riley was found about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from the auto they had been travelling in through Australia's remote north.

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