Aus­tralia po­lice call off out­back search for Ger­man tourist

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - WORLD -

SYD­NEY: An ex­ten­sive aerial search for a Ger­man tourist miss­ing in the vast Aus­tralian out­back for al­most two weeks has been called off, po­lice said.

Monika Billen, 62, was re­ported miss­ing last week af­ter leav­ing her re­sort in Alice Springs, a re­mote town near the ge­o­graph­i­cal cen­tre of Aus­tralia.

She is be­lieved to have hitched and walked her way to the Emily Gap, a site pop­u­lar with tourists in a re­mote na­ture park famed for its rocky ravines and gorges.

Po­lice had launched land and aerial searches for Billen, in­clud­ing the use of drones.

They be­lieve a mo­torist may have seen her look­ing de­hy­drated and a dis­ori­en­tated as early as Jan 2.

“De­spite our ef­forts no fur­ther ev­i­dence has been found to in­di­cate Monika is still out there,” North­ern Ter­ri­tory Po­lice Su­per­in­ten­dent Pauline Vi­cary said in a state­ment on Satur­day.

“Nei­ther is there any ev­i­dence to in­di­cate foul play. The last phys­i­cal sight­ing we have for her is the Emily Gap and sur­round­ing area, which we have thor­oughly searched.”

Tem­per­a­tures have soared above 40 de­grees Cel­sius dur­ing the south­ern hemi­sphere sum­mer in the cen­tral desert re­gion.

Po­lice said Billen had only a yel­low cash­mere scarf to pro­tect against the scorch­ing sun.

Vi­cary urged any wit­nesses to come for­ward and re­port any sight­ings or en­coun­ters with Billen. — AFP

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