Tragedy in the Outback: The search for a missing 12-year-old by in a remote region of Australia's Northern Territory came to a sad end Thursday when a body was found just 400 feet from where three other people were earlier found dead near a broken-down vehicle, 9News reports. The bodies of a 19-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman, and a 3-year-old child were found late Wednesday on a remote road near Willowra, around 185 miles northwest of Alice Springs, reports the Guardian, which notes police had previously said they believed a 12-year-old had also been in the car. Authorities initially thought the passengers had died in a car crash but they now suspect the family died of exposure. Police say the deaths were reported by a "distraught" man who raised the alarm at a medical facility in Willowra.
It took police hours to reach the site, which has been affected by recent flooding. "This is a tragic situation and our thoughts remain with the families affected by this incident," Southern Desert Division Superintendent Jody Nobbs said, per the Sydney Morning Herald. "This does serve as a timely reminder to anybody travelling on the Northern Territory roads, when you do travel, [make sure] your vehicle is in a fit state for travel," he added. "And that you have sufficient supplies including water and a first aid kit, and someone is aware of what your travel itinerary is." Nobbs said authorities do not believe there were any other passengers in the vehicle, but the area is being extensively searched as a precaution. (Read more Australia stories.)