'Doesn't look good' for German woman missing in Aussie Outback

11 January 2019 - 14:33
By AFP
The 62-year old German tourist left her hotel on January 1 and was never seen again.
Image: Fritz Hiersche/123rf The 62-year old German tourist left her hotel on January 1 and was never seen again.

Australian police vowed Friday to keep up the hunt for a missing German tourist, but after several days of scouring the dusty and parched Outback admitted time was running out.

Police have deployed drones and officers around the central town of Alice Springs to find the 62-year-old bushwalker, who was last seen on New Year's Day.

"Our members have been tirelessly searching Alice Springs for five days now and while it doesn't look good, we do hold out hope to find her alive," said Superintendent Pauline Vicary.

Local temperatures on Friday evening reached 41 degrees Celsius (105 Fahrenheit) and were even higher during the day.

Monika Billen left her Desert Palms Resort hotel on January 1 and is thought 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 were notified when she did not return to the hotel as planned a few days later.

Police believe a motorist may have seen her looking dehydrated and a disorientated as early as January 2.

She had only a yellow cashmere scarf to protect against the fierce desert sun.