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Body found in search for missing woman in Australia's outback

04 December 2019

A body believed to be that of missing Alice Springs woman Claire Hockridge has been found two weeks after she went missing with two friends in the Northern Territory Outback.

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

The group and Ms McBeath-Riley's dog, Raya, had been travelling from Alice Springs to go on a hike when they became bogged in the Hugh River.

McBeath-Riley and Hockridge, both Alice Springs locals, had taken Tran out for a drive and afternoon trek more than two weeks ago, heading to a region south of Alice Springs, when their ute became bogged in a river.

They had stayed by the vehicle for around three days in an unsuccessful attempt to free it, before splitting up to find help.

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Ms McBeath-Riley spoke outside hospital on Monday, alongside Ms Hockridge's sister, and said she was "worried to death", because she thought the pair - who had a Global Positioning System and compass with them - would have earlier reached the Stuart Highway, about 22km from where they separated.

'We are mindful that up to date they have been very resourceful, and we are hoping that she has been able to locate water'.

Police despatched helicopters to search for the trio.

McBeath-Riley said the auto became bogged down in the soft desert roads in the region.

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

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Mr Tran was found by a pastoralist on Tuesday morning. He chose to follow the fence line, after which he encountered the farmer.

Northern Territory police said on Wednesday they had located a body "which is believed to be that of Claire Hockridge during search efforts".

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

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

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Body found in search for missing woman in Australia's outback