In Brief

Outback death mystery: fourth body found in Australian tragedy

Child’s body discovered close to where family of three died in Northern Territory

The body of a child has been located by police in rural Australia close to the spot where two adults and a three-year-old were found dead yesterday.

Land and air searches for a missing 12-year-old boy had been launched by Northern Territory authorities in the Willowra region, around 185 miles northwest of Alice Springs.

The searches began after a man and woman, both 19, and a three-year-old boy were found dead near their broken-down car in the area yesterday. The boy, who is believed to have been travelling with the family, was then reported missing.

Emergency services believe the four victims “may have died from exposure a couple of days ago”,  News.com.au reports.

The bodies of the adults and younger child were found around three miles from their vehicle, where investigators found remnants of food and water.

The fourth body was discovered around 120 metres from the other three victims. Police have not confirmed if it is the body of the boy believed to have been a passenger in the car, says The Guardian.

“A formal identification of the child is yet to be undertaken,” Northern Territory Police said in a statement.

Southern Desert Division Superintendent Jody Nobbs said police would continue to search the area in case there were more passengers in the vehicle.

“Although police have no information that suggests there were other passengers in the car, we will continue a precautionary land and air search until we are satisfied that all areas of interest have been sufficiently canvassed,” he said.

The region of Australia that the bodies were found in is known for its hot, dry weather, with Willowra experiencing average daily highs of 36C in November. Police said the victims may have been “caught out” in the heat after leaving the car to get help.

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