Missing mother and daughter are found after disappearing while searching for gold two days ago
- Pair lost in outback Queensland gold hunt
- Trail bikers encountered them on Sunday
A missing mother and daughter have been found after police launched a massive search in rural Queensland after the couple failed to return home on Friday evening.
Alarm bells went off after authorities discovered they found a locked Ford Falcon ute near Old Esk North Road, Nanango, containing the phones of Michelle Lyn Melbourne, 54, and Nikita May Bennett, 36.
Police suspected they were prospecting in Seven Mile Diggings – an old gold mining area used between 1876 and 1900.
The campground is located in South Burnett State, approximately 110 miles inland from the Sunshine Coast.
Michelle Lyn Melbourne (pictured), 54, and her daughter Nikita May Bennett, 36, have been found after being reported missing on Friday. The pair was looking for gold
At about 8am on Sunday morning, two motorcyclists reported finding Ms Melbourne and Ms Bennett near a building outside the search area
At about 8am on Sunday morning, two motorcyclists reported finding Ms Melbourne and Ms Bennett near a building outside the search area.
The two women were taken by helicopter to Kingaroy Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Initially, concerns were raised for the pair’s safety due to the area’s rugged and steep terrain and freezing temperatures at night, where temperatures can drop to around 3°C.
A large-scale search and rescue operation was started on Saturday consisting of Polair, the National Emergency Service (SES) and volunteers.
On Saturday, Ms Melbourne’s son, Ben Melbourne, made a disturbing plea on social media.
Ms Bennett (pictured) and Ms Melbourne were airlifted to Kingaroy Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries
“Missing: Has anyone seen my mother and sister who they last went missing for 24 hours at Seven Mile Diggings in Nanango Qld,” he wrote.
“If you see them, please call the police. I have filed reports and I have been assisting a rescue helicopter and SES and police and volunteers at Seven Mile Diggings in the last 24 hours, please help with the search.
“Please help me find my mother and sister. Their (sic) names are Michelle Diebert Melbourne Nikita Bennett.’
Queensland Police thanked the public for their help.