A body believed to be that of a German tourist missing in Central Australia was discovered by police well away from recognised walking tracks after help from her mobile phone provider.
Monika Billen, 62, was found on Thursday after she was reported missing by hotel staff nine days earlier, on January 8, but she had not been seen since New Years Day.
She was spotted by searchers in a helicopter at 3.15pm under a tree 2.9km west of Emily Gap in the East MacDonnell Ranges.
The location had already been searched twice in a 16sq km area but was densely covered with trees and foliage, Superintendent Pauline Vicary said.
Police had been working with Telstra and Ms Billen's German mobile phone provider to help track her down, she said.
When asked why it had taken nine days to find her, Supt Vicary said it had involved "a lot of technology and information and extensive work, interpreting data" and using outside experts from the telcos.
However it had helped narrow down the search before finding Ms Billen.
Ms Billen's extended family in Cologne have been told the deeply upsetting and sad news", police said, and had earlier been in contact with her during her trip.
Police do not believe the death is suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
The last known alleged sighting of her was on the afternoon of New Year's Day at Emily Gap after CCTV footage showed her leaving the Desert Palms Resort in Alice Springs in the morning.
There was confusion last week when a woman told police she had given a dehydrated and disoriented-looking Ms Billen a lift in the area on January 2 but she later admitted she was mistaken and that had taken place on December 31.
If true, that would mean Ms Billen had headed out walking again in 44C temperatures a day after she had been dehydrated.
"It was 44 degrees that day and other factors such as the heat radiating off the road makes it even hotter," Supt Vicary told reporters.
Deaths and injuries are common around Alice Springs at this time of year, with walkers heading out in extreme heat.
Police rescued a bushwalker, a 60-year-old woman last weekend, on the Larapinta Trail, injured and dehydrated, on the same day rescuers called off a search for Ms Billen.
This time last year a 33-year-old American man died while hiking the Larapinta Trail.
Australian Associated Press