Drones deployed in search for German tourist missing in Australian Outback

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-10 10:23:37|Editor: ZD
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CANBERRA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Police in Australia's Northern Territory (NT) have deployed drones to help find a German tourist missing in the nation's Outback.

Monika Billen, a 62-year-old German national, was reported missing on Jan. 8, a week after she was last seen by hotel staff in Alice Springs, the biggest town in Central Australia.

Billen was due to check out of the Desert Palms Resort and catch a flight to Darwin, capital of the NT, on Jan. 5.

NT Police Acting Superintendent Pauline Vickery said that brochures found in Billen's hotel room suggested she was interested in local walking trails.

She said that Billen is clearly identifiable on footage captured by closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras outside the hotel on Jan. 1.

Police have urged the drivers of five vehicles seen passing the hotel at around the same time Billen left on Jan. 1 to come forward with any information they might have about her disappearance.

"Police have been and will continue to conduct inquiries into Billen's possible movements since leaving the resort," Vickery told reporters on Wednesday night.

"Police have been in touch with the German embassy in an effort to contact her family and are awaiting further advice," Vickery said.

Police have deployed drones and motorbikes to search popular walking trails around Alice Springs for any sign of the missing woman.

"We continue to hope that we'll find her alive but we are gravely concerned about the recent hot conditions," Vickery said.

Authorities urged tourists and hikers to exercise caution over the New Year's period with temperatures in Central Australia topping 45 centigrade.