A mum-of-four has been found alive after a week where she was forced to drink from puddles and had to endure extreme temperatures in Australian wilderness.
Rikki Mitchell, 38, was found by a local resident on his property after she had gone missing from a tiny locality called Reid River in Queensland, Australia.
According to reports, she was found driving a vehicle she had commandeered in a bid to find help.
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Townsville Detective Inspector Jason Shepherd said police had nearly given up on the search for Ms Mitchell.
“Hopes were fading for Rikki’s safe return and her survival is nothing short of remarkable,” Detective Inspector Shepherd said.
“She is safe and well after receiving treatment from paramedics for exposure and scratches and will be recovering in hospital.
“Conditions have ranged from extreme heat to quite cool dips – and for her to be missing seven days in the bush it’s a fantastic outcome considering the elements and the risk from wildlife, including snakes.”
Ms Mitchell went missing after she went for a walk after a swim near a rest stop with her boyfriend on Monday (May 2).
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“I understand she only had about a litre of water, was wearing a t-shirt, shorts and thongs and had no phone or food supplies,” Detective Inspector Shepherd said.
She became "disorientated" at some point on the walk after her boyfriend had already left her to meet friends. He reported her missing two days later.
“Obviously with the time frame she’s been missing she’s likely to have become quite disoriented," DI Shepherd said.
“But (she) traversed a considerable distance – at times this morning following the sound of the nearby Flinders Highway to raise the alarm.”
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