Missing Mackay dance teacher Diane Smedley has been found in Glenella.
Missing Mackay dance teacher Diane Smedley has been found in Glenella. Jarred Sferruzzi

Partner reveals moment of "overwhelming relief” in search

THE emotions felt by Ron Morris were "overwhelming" last night after his partner Diane Smedley was found after being missing for four days.

"It's a big relief, that's the best I can describe it," he told the Mercury.

"She is doing fine. With such high emotional levels I'm just glad that it's over."

SUCCESS: SES Mackay and Queensland Ambulance Service crews found Diane Smedley and carried her to the waiting ambulance.
SUCCESS: SES Mackay and Queensland Ambulance Service crews found Diane Smedley and carried her to the waiting ambulance. Jarred Sferruzzi

Ron was driving into town on Thursday when he received the call telling him to head back home - there was news.

Diane's iPhone was on again and his son saw it appear on a "find my iPhone app". While the 59-year-old dance teacher's phone was off most of the time, when it was switched on it would send a "ping" giving its whereabouts.

Yesterday it was pinging and it was in Glenella.

Ron called the police to alert them and believes they already knew it had just switched on.

SES Mackay liaise with police officers during the search.
SES Mackay liaise with police officers during the search. Jarred Sferruzzi

Using sniffer dogs it took police about an hour to track the phone's location and there, 400m away in bushland with some personal belongings, was Diane.

SES Mackay officers carried her out of the bushland to a waiting ambulance, where she was treated by Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics.

She was taken to Mackay Base Hospital where she was visited by family and friends.

"We're just happy she has been found."

>> READ MORE: Missing Mackay woman found close to makeshift camp

Ron said the past four days had been overwhelming, with an outpouring of support from the Mackay community, dancing community and police.

"I had to tell people not to call me or text me. I was overwhelmed," he said.

"The police did an outstanding job, it was a real team effort."

Diane Smedley



Photo Tony Martin / Daily Mercury
Diane Smedley Photo Tony Martin / Daily Mercury Tony Martin

District Officer for Mackay District Superintendent Bruce McNab said he was unsure how long Diane had been at the camp but "someone had apparently been staying for a short period of time".

"It's very heavy guinea grass, it was raining continuously and there was a small creek nearby which was flooded," he said.

Supt McNab said he believed if police hadn't found Diane on Thursday the outcome could have been very different.

When asked if he knew why she had gone missing and why she had set up a camp next to a creek in Glenella, Supt McNab said he was unsure, but at this point was celebrating the fact they had found her well.

Police don't believe anyone had contact with Diane while she was at the campsite.



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