Frightening ordeal ends with intense manhunt


Media Release

Last updated:

Port Douglas local Jessica Hamill is safe and with her family. IMAGE: Facebook


THE FAMILY of missing Port Douglas woman Jessica Hamill are relieved to have her back in their arms after a dramatic series of events unfolded ending on the Kuranda Range last night.  

Hamill’s family is said to be elated to have her back, with her sister posting on social media “Jessica Hamill has been found! Thank you endlessly to everyone who posted and shared. We have just spoken to her and going to get her now.” 

How the event unfolded

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- A father's nightmare: 'I just lived through 16 hours of hell'

Hamill disappeared from her home sometime before 2am on Wednesday morning, with fears she was with a man who may have been holding her against her will.

Last night several reports indicated police were in pursuit of a black Holden Commodore station wagon when the Kuranda Range was closed at about 6.30pm. Several roadblocks were put in place.  

An intense police search was then coordinated for a man police believe was with Hamill after their car crashed towards the bottom of the range.

It’s believed Hamill was found safe at the crash scene before the male passenger fled on foot.  

A counter response unit, armed police, emergency response officers and a rescue 510 helicopter was then deployed to help locate the man, along with sniffer dogs.

Residents in the Smithfield area were told to stay in doors. The man was eventually found near Smithfield sometime around 9pm.

Details are still emerging in relation to Hamill’s relationship with the man, in his 20s, although reports suggests she may have been held against her will for more than 16 hours.