'Missing' mum faces child charge

Vickie Barrett sparked a major search after going missing.
Vickie Barrett sparked a major search after going missing.

POLICE have charged a Sunshine Coast mum over allegedly abandoning her children at a service station last week.

Vickie Barrett, 37, sparked a massive missing-person search after she left daughters, aged 10 and eight, unattended in a car at the 7-Eleven service station on Nambour Connection Rd at Nambour on Wednesday after a family event.

She was last seen walking north towards Yandina about 11pm.

The girls entered the service station about 30 minutes later and used the mobile phone Ms Barrett left in the car to call their father, who was working in central Queensland.

The shop attendant then alerted police and the children stayed with their father’s parents that night.

Ms Barrett returned home on Friday but the reasons for her disappearance have not been revealed.

She is expected to face a Sunshine Coast court later this month on charges of leaving a child under age 12 unattended and failing to dispose of a syringe.

Sunshine Coast CIB chief Daren Edwards said: “Some investigations are still ongoing in relation to the movements of the missing person and other people over that 48 hours period”.

Previously, police had indicated Ms Barrett had experienced problems in coping with her children because her husband was away working.

Her parents previously told media that leaving her children was completely out of character for her.

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