The search for Gayle Woodford, who disappeared in the middle of Wednesday night, is now into its third day. While police believe her disappearance to be a major crime, South Australian bush nurse may have been abducted.
Woodford, 56, disappeared in the middle of the night from her remote home. Her last known whereabouts are 9.40pm on Wednesday in the Fregon area near her home.
A huge search is ongoing for Woodford, around Fregon and Marla, in the restricted Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands.
The STAR Group involving the crime scene officers, detectives from Major Crime and Far North CIB are coordinating the search. The local police and community volunteers from Marla and across the APY lands are also helping in the search.
On Thursday morning, Woodford’s four-wheel drive ambulance was found in Coober Pedy, about 400 kilometres from her home. There were three people found inside the ambulance.
A man has been charged with the vehicle’s theft, since the discovery. He has been taken into custody. However, the other two people were not charged.
According to ABC News, GPS data of the recovered ambulencd showed that the vehicle left Fregon on Wednesday and travelled to Mimili. Early on Thursday, Woodford’s ambulence travelled through Indulkana to Marla.
Police are using these GPS information from the ambulance to assist with their efforts to find Woodford. While serious concerns are held for her safety, an aerial search by Police Airwing is also underway near Fregon and Marla.
“We’ve got grave fears for the safety of Gayle, very grave fears….,” Superintendent Des Brayand said.
“….at this stage, we are hoping for the best and we are doing everything we possibly can in case she is out there somewhere injured.”
According to Bray, a witness in Marla has been able to discredit the unconfirmed sighting of Woodford at Marla, on Thursday morning.
Her partner, Keith, is a teacher in the APY lands. Woodgord has two adult children, a son named Gary and a daughter, Alison.
Alison works at a hospital at Yorketown while Gary works at nearby Port Giles for grain producer, says Herald Sun.
Locals described Ms Woodford as a lovely, caring woman. “They are a beautiful family and well known in the area,” a neighbour said. “Hopefully we get good news later on.”
Police insisted people to call on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, if they had any knowledge of the incident.