Police are investigating whether three people who died in Central Australia became separated from a broken down car and died from exposure.
The bodies of a 19-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman and a three-year-old boy were discovered near their broken down vehicle in the Willowra district, more than 300km north of Alice Springs, on Wednesday.
At a press conference on Thursday morning, Investigators revealed that a major land and air search is now underway for another child who they believe may have also been in the car.
“Further enquiries indicate it is possible a 12-year-old boy was a passenger in the vehicle and was not among the three people found dead,” police said.
Family members have not authorised the release of the child’s name, however have advised Police that members in the surrounding communities of Ali Curung, Ti Tree and Willowra are aware of his particulars.
NT police were alerted to the deaths near Willowra, around 300 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, when a person walked into a local health clinic and raised the alarm just after midday yesterday.
It was first suspected the people died in a car crash, but Duty Superintendent Shaun Gill said that possibility had been ruled out.
Police do not believe the deaths were suspicious.
Duty Superintendent Gill said investigators were still driving back from the Jarra Jarra Access Road, about 62 kilometres from Willowra, as he spoke to ABC Radio this morning.
“One of the avenues we’re looking at is that they’ve walked off from a vehicle in extreme weather and may have got caught out,” he said.
“Initially we thought it was the result of a car crash, however we’re confident it’s not.
“We don’t believe the circumstances are suspicious.”
Police have not released details about the people who died. Police will continue investigations and prepare a report for the coroner.
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