Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The body of a woman found in the Australian outback was thought to be that of the third member of a group stranded in the scorching wilderness for nearly two weeks, authorities said Wednesday.
Northern Territories Police confirmed the body is believed to be that of Claire Hockridge, 46, who along with two companions became stranded about 57 miles south of Alice Springs Nov. 19 when their vehicle became stuck in a dry riverbed.
NT Police Superintendent Pauline Vicary told reporters in Alice Springs the woman's body was found 5 miles from a highway that Hockridge and Tran were trying to reach. The pair had separated from McBeath-Riley during the ordeal in a bid to find help.
Tran was discovered alive by a cattle rancher near Stewarts Well while McBeath-Riley was rescued by helicopter Sunday not far from where the group's vehicle had been abandoned in the Finke River. A note left on the windshield led to her location.
Vicary said authorities became concerned after Tran's rescue that Hockridge had run out of water, but had held out hopes of her survival.
Claire Hockridge's sister, Sarah Hockridge, said family members were exhausted after the ordeal, adding, "Even though Claire has died in terrible circumstances, we are glad that Tamra and Phu have been found alive and well, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who was involved in that."