Twist in search of missing Aussie woman as new details emerge
The car linked to missing Queensland woman Tea Wright-Finger was reportedly stolen just days before she vanished, police say.
The 19-year-old was last seen in Richmond — almost 500km west of Townsville — on October 16 when she was dropped at her blue Toyota Prado 4WD by a friend.
Twelve days into the search, it's been revealed that the Prado — which is also missing — had been stolen from Proserpine in north Queensland on October 14.
Inspector Damien Crosby said on Thursday that the Prado did not belong to someone known to the woman, and was stolen "as a result of a fraud-related offence".
It's been alleged the car was stolen a short time before she was reported missing by her family.
"Obviously, the fact that the vehicle was stolen is part of an investigation," Inspector Crosby said on Thursday.
"But I would reiterate to Tèa, or any acquaintances of Tèa, that our priority remains to locate her safe and well and make sure she's OK.
"We haven't been able to locate the vehicle or confirm the direction of travel from Richmond, which is why search operations at Richmond are continuing."
Police are analysing an "extensive amount of CCTV and video footage".
Desperate search underway in rural Queensland
Police search and rescue teams, SES volunteers, council workers and community members have been scouring rough terrain in the Richmond area. Police are worried for Ms Wright-Finger's welfare.
Police were able to narrow the search down to this area after her phone was pinged last Tuesday. It was switched on "very briefly" before going to voicemail on Wednesday.
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Inspector Crosby said there was no evidence to suggest foul play was involved with Ms Wright-Finger's disappearance.
But they are still "desperately" seeking information from the public about the woman's whereabouts.
Teen posts concerning video before disappearing
It's also been claimed the 19-year-old was at a party the night before she was last seen.
Local man Patrick Miller, who has joined the search for Ms Wright-Finger, believes she had parked the car, got a lift to a nearby party and then returned the next day, on October 16, to pick it up.
Inspector Crosby said a few members of the public have issued statements with shared beliefs, however, police were unable to confirm.
The teen, who was working in Richmond when she disappeared, shared a video on TikTok less than two weeks before vanishing. The clip has since been inundated with messages from worried friends.
"I don’t feel so good, I want to go home," the caption reads and features pictures of her and snapshots of a rural outback property.
"Tea please go home, you're so loved and missed," one person wrote on the video.
The 19-year-old's worried mother Tracy Wright has shared a series of updates on Facebook as she desperately continues the search for her daughter.
"The community of Richmond have been absolutely wonderful," she wrote on Monday.
In an earlier post, the panicked mother revealed that the teen has not accessed her bank account since the last day she was seen.
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