Police find body of missing prospector

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Adam PoulsenMidwest Times

Police have confirmed the body of man found in bushland near Cue this afternoon was that of missing prospector Justin Davies.

Police initiated a large-scale land and air search in the Mid West of Western Australia after Mr Davies, 48, failed to return to a camp at Webb’s Patch, 24km east of Cue, on Monday evening.

Speaking at a press conference at Geraldton Police Station this afternoon, Inspector David Hooper said Mr Davies had been camping with a family member when he set out on foot to prospect alone early on Monday morning.

“At about 10am today, staff onboard a (police) spotter plane noticed a person lying under a tree within the search area,” Insp. Hooper said.

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“Officers on the ground went to the location and tragically located a deceased man. He has been formally identified as Mr Davies.”

Insp. Hooper said police believed Mr Davies was carrying about two litres of water and possibly some food.

“My information is that Mr Davies was prospecting for the first time,” Insp. Hooper said.

He said temperatures had reached the high 40s over the last two days and there was very little water and sparse vegetation in the area.

“This also serves as a reminder of the unforgiving nature of our outback,” Insp. Hooper said.

“The area where Mr Davies was camping includes harsh terrain and severe climate conditions. We encourage anyone venturing into the outback to have a safety plan and to carry a personal location beacon.”

Twenty one police officers from the Mid West-Gascoyne and 20 State Emergency Service volunteers were involved in the search at the time Mr Davies was found.

Insp. Hooper said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Davies’ death.

“This is a tragic event and our condolences are with the Davies family,” Insp. Hooper said.

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