Twist after German backpacker disappears in Northern Territory

Several people have told police they saw missing German tourist Monika Billen around Alice Springs, including a motorist who gave her a lift.

The 62-year-old woman has been missing for more than a week and failed to check out of her hotel and board a flight to Darwin last weekend.

Police initially said her last known whereabouts was on New Year’s Day when CCTV footage showed her outside the Desert Palms Resort.

German tourist, Monika Billen, 62, is missing in the Northern Territory outback. Source: NT Police

However a motorist told police she accepted a lift on January 2 from Emily Gap in the East MacDonnell Ranges back towards town.

She was seen by another person at Emily Gap, but it is not known how she travelled the 13km to get there and if she had stayed there the previous night.

“It appears she’s hiked out to Emily Gap, she’s come back through Undoolya Rd where she was picked up by the motorist,” Superintendent Pauline Vicary told reporters.

Missing German tourist Monika Billen was reported looking dehydrated and disorientated as she headed to Alice Springs. Source: NT Police

The motorist told police Ms Billen asked to be dropped back close to town at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden where she was last seen.

The motorist said Ms Billen looked dehydrated and disorientated but declined the offer of water.

Temperatures have been consistently above 40C in central Australia over the last week.

Police are continuing to search the areas using vehicles and drones, will doorknock and are appealing to motorists who travelled around Barrett Drive and Ross Highway on January 1 and 2 to contact them, including people with dash cams.

The entrance to the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs, where Monika Billen was headed when she was last seen. Source: Google Maps

Ms Billen’s brother in Germany had been contacted, Supt Vicary said.

It was not believed she had met with foul play but nothing could be ruled out yet, she said.

“We will continue our search until all avenues are exhausted,” Supt Vicary said.

The recent evidence indicates Ms Billen, who has a slim build and short grey hair, wore a yellow cashmere scarf over her head and shoulders, along with beige shorts and a red top.