Backpacker safe after disappearing for a week in Australia

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The Independent Online

Fears for the safety of a British tourist who had been missing for more than a week in Australia proved unfounded yesterday when she turned up at a police station unharmed.

Frances Embleton, 24, walked into the police station just outside Sydney early yesterday following an extensive appeal to trace her. Her family were last night celebrating the news that she was safe.

The law graduate had disappeared hours before she was due to attend her own farewell party seven days before, on 22 April. The party was planned to mark the end of her stay in Australia, where she had just completed a year-long working holiday.

An eyewitness reported seeing a blonde woman fitting her description telling friends in a bar in Sydney that she had gambled all of her money away in a casino. But neither the police nor Ms Embleton's family confirmed that this was the case.

Last night her father, Norman Embleton, from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, said New South Wales Police had informed him of his daughter's safety yesterday and that it was a "really wonderful relief".

A spokesman for New South Wales Police refused to comment on why Ms Embleton had not been in contact with family or friends.