BREAKING NEWS: Missing girl in “isolated” rural Tasmania found

Mar 25, 2022
Shayla Philips was last seen wearing pink leggings, a cream top and gumboots. She has been described as having long, brown curly hair. Source: Tasmanian Police

UPDATE: Missing 4-year-old girl Shayla Philips has been found alive and well in southern Tasmania less than 48 hours after she was reported missing from the yard of her Tasmanian home on Wednesday, March 23.

More information to come.

EARLIER:

New details have been released in the case of a 4-year-old girl who was reported missing from the yard of her Tasmanian home on Wednesday afternoon, March 23.

Shayla Philips was reported missing after her mother went to check on her in the backyard of their home after leaving her to entertain herself with the two family dogs for approximately 30 minutes. Phillips noted that the dogs were also missing at the time, but only one has since been found.

In a recent statement to 9 News, Tasmanian Police Inspector, Gavin Hallett, reiterated that Shayla regularly played with the dogs and enjoyed their company.

“That’s not an uncommon thing, Shayla knows the dogs very well and is very fond of them,” Hallet said.

In regards to the ongoing investigation, Hallet said police were using a number of resources in an effort to locate the girl, revealing they were focusing on a number of factors to help inform the search.

“We’ve got an idea as to the distance a four-year-old girl could travel and we’re using that as the perimeters of the search area,” he said.
“An indicator for us was that the dog was found in an area quite some distance away.
“Her mother is very stoic, very strong and positive, and is hopeful that we will find Shayla today.”
According to news.com.au, Hallet also noted that Shayla would have to be found and that “she won’t present to us” due to her age.
“We have to get down on our hands and knees and search everywhere … She could be disoriented. She could be confused. She could be scared … That’s my concern,” he said.
In a statement from Assistant Commissioner of Operations, Jonathan Higgins, Higgins remained hopeful that dedicated police efforts would see the little girl found.
“Tasmania Police are doing everything we possibly can to bring little Shayla back safely to her mum and we will continue that,” Higgins said.
“We need to be positive that there will be a good outcome but we will continually reassess and take advice from the medicos and other experts but it is only a couple of days in, the weather has been quite good.”
According to The Young Witness, Hallet said there were many aspects of the investigation working together to help find the little girl.
“There are many aspects to missing people, and it is all happening, playing out here with searches on the ground, people behind the scenes doing intelligence work and looking at maps and providing extra assistance where they can.
Higgins did admit some “apprehension” now that the search efforts “are now a couple of days in.”

“But the people who are here are searching, they are here for the right reason – to find little Shayla,” he said.

Shayla Philips was last seen wearing pink leggings, a cream top and gumboots. She has been described as having long, brown curly hair.

The search remains ongoing, more to follow as the story develops.

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