Grave fears for Aussie mum after little daughter found alone in Mexico

·Associate News Editor
·2-min read

Family of a Queensland mother say they are "horrified" after she vanished in Mexico days ago, with her two-year-old daughter later found wandering the streets alone.

Tahnee Shanks, 32, hasn't been heard from since Saturday (local time) with her family set to join Mexican authorities in a desperate search for her, Nine News reported.

Prosecutors in the coastal state of Quintana Roo have issued a missing persons alert for Ms Shanks, who is believed to have been travelling the area.

Tahnee Shanks has not been heard from since Saturday (local time). Source: Facebook
Tahnee Shanks has not been heard from since Saturday (local time). Source: Facebook

They say the last sighting of Ms Shanks was on Monday in Cancun, the Associated Press reported.

It is unknown how she became detached from her daughter Adelynn, who was found near the Chapel of San Archangel.

"You wouldn't have been able to drag her away from her daughter. She would have fought to the death, so that's what's got me so scared," Ms Shanks' brother Dan told the Brisbane Times.

Text messages from Ms Shanks stopped suddenly

He said the development was "horrifying" and Ms Shanks was due to travel back to Australia next month to scatter her brother's ashes after he died three years ago. She had been unable to fly back earlier due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Shanks pictured with her daughter and the girl's father, Jorge. Source: Facebook
Ms Shanks pictured with her daughter and the girl's father, Jorge. Source: Facebook

Mr Shanks was messaging his sister on the weekend when the exchange "all of a sudden just stopped".

Adelynn's father, Jorge Luis Aguirre Astudillo, a Mexican citizen, is also missing and was last heard from on Monday.

Unconfirmed reports from a friend of Ms Shanks, who has set up a GoFundMe to help the family, suggest Aguirre Astudillo had dropped his daughter off at the church where she was found.

Ms Shanks' brother Ben told the Courier Mail witnesses at the church say they saw a man who looked like Aguirre Astudillo walking away from the scene.

He said witnesses also claim to have seen Ms Shanks "not far" from the church "severely drugged" with five other people.

Adelynn has been taken into the care of welfare authorities with her family now seeking custody of the child.

Australian authorities are aware of Ms Shanks' disappearance and are working with those in Mexico.

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