Body of third person lost in Australian outback found after police search

Claire Hockridge, 46, had been missing for over two weeks after taking a drive into the outback with her partner and a family friend Nov. 19.

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By Caroline Radnofsky

A body has been found in the search for a woman who went missing in Australia's outback for over two weeks, police said Wednesday.

The remains of a woman believed to be Claire Hockridge were discovered 23 miles south of Stuarts Well, in the Northern Territory, Pauline Vicary, Superintendent of Alice Springs Police Division told a press conference.

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The 46 year-old went missing Nov. 19 during a drive into the remote terrain near Alice Springs with her partner Tamra McBeath-Riley, 52, and family friend Phu Tran, 40, who were both found alive.

Claire Hockridge, 46, had gone to look for help after she became stranded in the outback along with partner Tamra McBeath-Riley and family friend Phu Tran.Reuters

The trio was stranded after their vehicle became bogged in a riverbed. After a week of staying close to their car and waiting for discovery, Tran and Hockridge set off on foot to find shelter and water, while McBeath-Riley stayed near the vehicle with their dog, Raya, she told reporters in a press conference after her rescue.

McBeath-Riley and Tran were rescued separately Monday and Tuesday respectively, but Hockridge remained missing. She and Tran had chosen to take different routes, according to police.

"One wanted to go high and the other wanted to follow the fence line," a police spokesperson told NBC on Dec. 3. "Sometimes the thinking is you go up high to see where you are, but also after 14 days, you don’t have rational thoughts."

Hockridge is survived by her two children, grandchild and partner, her sisters Melinda and Sarah said.

"We are all grieving and exhausted from the emotional roller-coaster that we've ridden," Sarah Hockridge told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.

"Even though Claire has died in terrible circumstances, we are glad that Tamra and Phu have been found alive and well, and we're extremely grateful to everyone who's involved in that."