Police reveal probable cause of death after tragic end of search for missing wife Esther Wallace

A woman who disappeared up a craggy mountain in NSW in the middle of the night is believed to have died in a “horrific accident”, police say.

Esther Wallace, 47, was reported missing on the morning of November 30 after being separated from her partner along the Federal Falls Trail at Mount Canobolas, 20 kilometers west of Orange in the state-central west.

The couple arrived at the popular hiking trail and campsite in the early hours before sunrise.

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Police rescue teams and State Emergency Medical Service volunteers spent 11 days searching through dense scrub and rocky bushland for evidence of Wallace, who was last seen wearing an orange jacket, black pants and sandals.

Her body was found on Sunday afternoon in dense bushland about two kilometers north of where she was last found.

A woman who disappeared up a craggy mountain in NSW in the middle of the night is believed to have died in a “horrific accident”, police say. Recognition: NSW Police

Inspector David Maher of the Central West Police District said Wallace may have died of hypothermia.

“It’s just a terrible accident, we think,” Insp. Maher told AAP on Monday.

The Orange region experienced extreme weather with sub-zero temperatures, rain and dry heat during the days that Wallace was missing.

Insp Maher said CID officers are continuing to investigate and a report for the coroner is being prepared.

“Currently it is not suspicious.”

The body of missing bushwalker Esther Wallace has been found on Mount Canobolas after an 11-day search. (Stephanie Gardiner/AAP PHOTOS) Recognition: AAP

Before Wallace’s body was discovered, search parties found several items of clothing, including a white crocheted coat and an orange jacket.

As the search entered its second week, police warned the community not to speculate about what may have happened, saying Wallace’s partner was not a suspect and had provided useful information.

Acting Central West Superintendent Gerard Lawson said on Friday some of the more “bizarre” elements of the disappearance had been addressed by the police investigation, although he declined to elaborate.

On Monday, a friend of Wallace’s wrote on Facebook: “RIP my best friend my soul sister it’s not goodbye it’s a reunion.”

Several police officers have been shot dead in Queensland.

Several police officers have been shot dead in Queensland.

https://7news.com.au/news/nsw/police-reveal-likely-cause-of-death-after-tragic-end-to-search-for-missing-woman-esther-wallace-c-9137679 Police reveal probable cause of death after tragic end of search for missing wife Esther Wallace

James Brien

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