Queensland Police announced on Monday they had ‘scaled back search operations’ for 19-year-old Tea Wright-Finger (pictured) who was last seen by a friend in Richmond, in far northwest Queensland on October 16
Police have been forced to ‘scale back’ frantic search efforts to locate a teenage girl who vanished in the outback driving a stolen car almost three weeks ago.
Queensland Police and SES volunteers have conducted extensive land and air searches for Tea Wright-Finger, 16, covering hundreds of kilometers after she went missing in Richmond, in far northwest Queensland on October 16.
Neither Tea or a blue Toyota Prado 4WD she has been linked to have been seen since, with the teen posting a string of concerning TikTok videos in the months leading up to her disappearance.
Last week, police revealed the Prado had been reported as missing two days before she disappeared and had been stolen in the town of Proserpine.
‘The Prado, which has been linked to Tea and which Tea was last seen in the vicinity of, is a stolen vehicle,’ Inspector Damien Crosby said on Thursday.
‘The Prado was stolen as a result of a fraud-related offence.’
In a shocking TikTok video posted last year, Tea showed her bloodied face and warned: ‘Always take risks in life, you never know when it’s going to end.’
In one of the clips she is seen grief-stricken and emotional, sobbing uncontrollably with blood smeared over her nose, face and hand.
In one of the clips she is seen grief-stricken and emotional, sobbing uncontrollably with blood smeared over her nose, face and hand (pictured)
Tea Wright-Finger (pictured), 19, has not been since or heard from in almost three weeks after she was dropped off by a friend in Richmond in far north-west Queensland on October 16
It forms part of a montage of clips and selfies where the young cattle station worker shows her bashed-up face and later bruises as the wounds slowly heal.
One of the teenager’s most recent posts was on her 19th birthday where she detailed the lessons she had learnt so far in life, including the ominous warning that: ‘It’s okay to feel lost sometimes’.
‘Always take risks in life, you never know when it’s going to end,’ she says in the clip.
‘You always have to work hard to get what you want, no one is going to hand it to you. If people want you in their life, they will make time for you.’
Another TikTok video posted before Tea vanished revealed her pain and anguish at the loss of loved one in a touching tribute video.
She combined clips of the young man joking around with mates and an apparent memorial service where friends and families released balloons in his memory.
The teenager posted a series of TikTok videos that give a glimpse into her past including one where she revealed the ‘life lessons’ she had learnt in her 19 years (pictured)
Tracy Wright (left) is praying her daughter Tea (right) will be found alive and well
Tea captioned the heartrending clip, posted in May: ‘Been a year since you grew your wings and left us’ and tagged it #mentalhealthawareness.
In her final TikTok video – posted less than a fortnight before she went missing – she told followers: ‘I don’t feel so good, I want to go home.’
The video – featuring pictures of the missing woman and rural outback scenes – has since been inundated with comments from worried friends.
Her mother Tracy Wright said police had tracked her mobile phone and discovered it was switched on briefly in the Flinders River area on October 18.
She said her daughter has not accessed her bank account, with her phone going straight to voicemail since last Wednesday, October 19.
Tea’s mother last week thanked everyone involved in the search and says she prays her daughter will be found safe and well.
The blue Toyota Prado 4WD that the cattle station worker was driving (pictured) was reported as missing two days before the teenager disappeared
Tea’s mother said her daughter loved her job working on Richmond Downs Station (pictured)
Before the teenager’s disappearance she worked at Richmond Downs Station, where she loved her job, according to her mum.
Tea is described as Caucasian, 180cm tall, with a medium build and light brown hair.
Her vehicle is a blue 2013 Toyota Prado 4WD with Queensland registration 210-TLA.
She has connections to the Northern Territory, Bundaberg in Queensland and farms near Richmond in the state’s far north-west.
Queensland Police said despite the search being scaled-back police would continue to investigate her disappearance and remain in ‘close contact’ with her family.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
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