The brutal final moments of a young family and their friend found dead in Australia's unforgiving Outback have been revealed.
The bodies of a young couple, both aged 19, and their three-year-old son were found in the Northern Territory on Wednesday, 4.5km away from their broken-down car.
The body of a 12-year-old boy, a friend who was travelling with the family, was found a day later at around 2pm just 120 metres away after a desperate air and land search.
Their deaths have been attributed to hyperthermia and starvation after what was meant to be a five-hour commute turned into five days in the wilderness.
Police are continuing to search the remote region for any other passengers.
The group had left the remote indigenous community of Willowra with plans to travel to Warra Warra, 500 kilometers north of Alice Springs.
But roughly halfway through the five-hour trip, their car broke down.
The teenage parents left morsels of food and water at their abandoned car and attempted to find help in a community 18km away.
They never made it that far.
An alarm was raised by a 'distraught' man at an Aboriginal health clinic at remote Willowra who found their dead bodies just before 12.30pm on Wednesday.
Ryan, the manager of the Ti-Tree Roadhouse in Ti Tree, the community where the car set off from on Friday, said the situation was tragic and he felt especially for the youngest victim.
He said: 'I feel for the three-year-old the most - he would have had no idea what was going on. At least the rest of them would have known the trouble they were in.'
The searing heat reached 40C (104F) at the start of the week in Willowra and 38C (100F) on Wednesday before dropping off in the past few days.
It is not known why the car broke down but it is understood there was no mobile phone coverage.
Police are still continuing precautionary land and air searches to rule out anyone else being stranded in the Outback, according to The NT News.
Southern Desert Division Superintendent Jody Nobbs said: 'Although police have no information that suggests there were other passengers in the car, we will continue searches until we are satisfied that all areas of interest have been sufficiently canvassed.'
Police will prepare a report for the coroner while they scour the area.
The deaths were initially thought to have been caused by a car crash - but that was quickly ruled out as the tragic reality of the situation became clear.
Investigators were only able to arrive at the scene on Thursday due to flooding and the remoteness of the area.
'One of the avenues of inquiry that we're looking at is if people walked away from a broken down vehicle and may have suffered as result of that,' duty superintendent Shaun GIll said on Thursday.
Mr Gill said the two adults and child may have died several days ago, and NT Police stated in a press conference on Friday they believed the family could have been at the location since the day they set off .
'This does serve, unfortunately, as a timely reminder for anyone travelling on NT roads to ensure that when you travel your vehicle is in a fit state and that you have sufficient supplies including water and a first aid kit,' Superintendent Jody Nobbs said.
'Also make sure someone is aware of what your travel itinerary is — when you intend to leave, arrive and your anticipated routes.'
Mr Gill said an 'extreme weather event' may have caused the deaths.
Read more: www.ntnews.com.a...