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Police say a four-year-old girl who went missing from a backyard in Stormlea, Tasmania on Wednesday afternoon has been safely located in bushland.

The little girl has been taken to hospital for medical assessment, after being located near Halls Rd Stormlea. Police say they’ll provide further details when they’re available.

Shayla Phillips was last seen playing with two dogs in a backyard on Stormlea Road, an isolated area not far from Port Arthur at around 2.30pm on Wednesday. Police had said they were growing ‘increasingly concerned’ after she spent another night missing.

Missing girl Shayla Phillips

Tasmania Police, Tasmania SES, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Police Drone Unit, and specialist dogs had been searching for the little girl. A dog that was with Shayla when she was last seen was found at 7pm on Wednesday night, while the other dog returned home not long after the search commenced.

According to Shayla’s mother, her daughter was playing outside with two dogs belonging to neighbours.

“That’s not an uncommon thing, Shayla knows the dogs very well and is very fond of them,” Inspector Gavin Hallett said.

“Her mother went out to check on Shayla after about 30 minutes and found that she and the dogs were not there. While she was waiting for Tasmania Police to attend, she also conducted a search of some neighbouring properties with a friend, however Shayla was again not located,” Inspector Hallett said.

A huge amount of resources, including a thermal camera drone and SES wilderness search teams had been deployed in the search. Almost 100 emergency services personnel had been searching local farmland and woodland since the little girl went missing.

“We’ve got an idea as to the distance a four-year-old girl could travel and we’re using that as the perimeters of the search area.”

While Shayla’s mum has told police that her daughter enjoys playing hide and seek, the longest she’s ever been missing in the past was 15 minutes.

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  • So glad she is well .

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  • Thank god they found her!

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  • Wonderful news that she was found safe and well. So happy for the family.

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  • That’s great news that she’s been found safe and sound. Hopefully she won’t play hide and seek too far from home in future

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  • So pleased to hear that she was found safe and well. Must have been such a scary time for everyone close to her.

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  • Thank God. This will have been so frightening for the family. I cannot imagine what they were going through.

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  • It was so good to hear that she was found safe and well. I could not image what the parents must have been going through all this time.

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  • So good to hear that they have now found her and she is safe!
    I always worry about my kids going missing and I get really paranoid now because my two year old tends to run away a lot when we’re at the shops because she wants to look at the toys!!!

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  • They found her oh that is such a good outcome

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  • Thank goodness she was found safe. It must have been so worrying for her family.

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  • Truly amazing that she has been found safe and well. Her poor mother must have been beside herself.

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  • So glad Shayla has been found safe. What a relief to all involved in trying to locate her.

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  • Heard this on the news last night. So happy she was found safe and well. What a fright her family would have had.

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  • Thank goodness she was found! We’ve had cold nights and hot days so she was probably freezing.


    • Yes, and how scared, hungry and thirsty must the girl have been herself !

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  • Thank God, that’s great news !!

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