Body found in search for third hiker missing in Australian outback

Clay Curtis
December 5, 2019

Police found a body on Wednesday they suspect is the only casualty among three people who became stranded in the arid central Australian Outback nearly two weeks ago.

Claire Hockridge, 46, grew to become stranded with two pals south of Alice Springs on November 19, when their ute grew to become bogged in sand on a river mattress.

Ms Hockridge had been travelling with two others when their vehicle got stuck in a riverbed on 19 November.

Ms Hockridge was last seen at the Palmer Valley Station fence line two days earlier by her friend, Phu Tran who was located by a pastoralist conducting bore runs in the area, yesterday morning.

"During the day it's just really hot so we dug ourselves under the vehicle during the day into the sand".

Fogarty said he found Tran at a water tank on his property where Tran had been drinking and cooling since Monday.

They eventually found a watering hole, and boiled the "quite dirty" water before sieving it through a shirt, police said.

Claire Hockridge and McBeath-Riley were living in Alice Springs and had been showing local landmarks to Tran, who was visiting Alice Springs from the south coast city of Adelaide.

The heartbroken family of Claire Hockridge, the woman who was found dead in the Outback, has spoken about the devastation of her death.

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Phu Tran, 40, was found by a livestock farmer in a remote area south of Alice Springs on Tuesday after spending almost two weeks in the Outback. "At night [we] could sleep in the vehicle".

'We're aware that updated they've been very resourceful, and we hope that she has been capable of find water'.

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

The group eventually made a decision to split up to get help.

The invention of Mr Tran had narrowed the rugged space being taking a look at by searchers in helicopters, Ms Vicary stated earlier.

They left a note inside their vehicle.

Mr Phu was rescued on Tuesday after spending two days walking along the farm's fence line.

Mr Tran was discovered on Tuesday by a farmer who was performing checks on his huge property, about 12km from the vehicle.

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

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