Human remains found 250km east of Darwin in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park are believed to be those of missing Whitsundays woman Jessica Stephens.
The woman’s mother, Karon Evans has paid an emotional tribute to her daughter via ABC News, writing “tonight the sun sets on our broken hearts”.
“Our beautiful Jess has been found. Her soul released to the peace of the Dreamtime and heaven.
“The sun set tonight is a reminder of how brief our lives can be.
“We will miss our beautiful daughter, sister, mother and granddaughter.”
A statement from a Police spokesman said they had “recovered human remains on Nourlangie Rock, believed to be a missing 35-year-old woman.
“Police are in communication with the woman’s family and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.”
The remains were located on Saturday after an official search began on October 24.
Stephens was reported missing on October 18 by her mother per the ABC.
While undertaking the extensive search, authorities eventually located her car near Nourlangie Rock.
Personal items belonging to Stephens were also found “quite a way from the track” according to Acting Senior Sergeant Steven Langdon.
As recently as Friday, authorities maintained there was a possibility of finding Stephens.
“Severe to extreme heatwaves conditions are expected to continue across the Northern Territory and the environment continues to prove to be a challenge,” Langdon said.
“This has been a massive effort across agencies and we continue to hold out hope of finding Jessica.”
The total search area covered over 140 square kilometres and could reach up to 48 degrees celsius.