REUNITED: Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe (far left) has been reunited with her family, dad Jason Earl, step mother Kim and siblings Connor and Cheyanne. Photo Contributed
REUNITED: Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe (far left) has been reunited with her family, dad Jason Earl, step mother Kim and siblings Connor and Cheyanne. Photo Contributed Contributed

Missing Clermont teen Kaitlyn survived on fruit from trees

EXCLUSIVE:

KAITLYN Earl-Rowe hid in a vacant house during the day and snacked on fruit from near-by trees to survive after she left her Clermont home on March 23.

After an extensive land and air search that involved police, SES and volunteers, she was reunited with her family this afternoon.  

Her father Jason was 'over the moon to see her'.

"We just left her. It's so good to see her smiling face. I'm so excited, I'm so damn happy right now. She's in really, really good spirits. She's lost a little bit of weight. She's surprised me how resourceful she was. She is very apologetic. She survived of fruit from people's trees, so apologies to anyone missing fruit of their trees too," he said.

Mr Earl said Kaitlyn disappeared after feeling the pressures of life had gotten too much.

"There is a lot of pressure on kids; with social media, phones and school. Kaitlyn didn't feel like she could talk to anyone," he said.

Mr Earl said the past week had been an emotional roller coaster and the hardest thing his family had ever had to go through. 

"We want to thank everyone across Australia. We couldn't have gotten through with out the support of our community, the volunteers and the police. I feel sorry for people who've lost someone. The outcome we've got was a good one and we can't ask for anything more. I will never pass over a missing person (post on Facebook)without sharing it ever again,' he said.

Mr Earl also urged anyone, teenager or adult to ask for help if they were feeling overwhelmed.

"Talk to someone about the pressures. Nothing should get so much that you feel you can't conquer it.

"Family is the most important thing. I'd say to other kids that people need to go back to grass roots and just talk," he said." he said.

"Kaitlyn is a beautiful kid. She is going to visit her brother and sister and stay with her grandparents. She will get the help she needs. Myself, my wife Kim, Kailtyn's mum Rhonda, Nan and Kaitlyn's brother Connor and sister Cheyanne would like to say to KT that We love you KT and we are so glad you're safe," he said.

GET HELP   If you need to talk phone: Lifeline: 13 11 14 Beyondblue: 1300224636 Headspace Mackay 4898 2200 Grapevine Group Ph 4957 6610  

EARLIER:

Missing teenager Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe has been found safe after  an extensive search of the Clermont area.

The teen was found in  a vacant house in the township on the third day of an extensive land and air search by police, SES and volunteers,

Acting Detecive Inspector Dave tucker said she was found at 2.30pm today.

"It's fantastic. It's a result of part of a search of vacant houses that we have been including in our search since it began" he said. 

Her father Jason Earl said "I'm extremely happy my daughter has been found."

1:30 pm

THE grandmother of missing Clermont teenager Kaitlyn Earl has made a tearful plea for the former Yeppoon resident to call someone and let them know she is safe.

Marlene Bergman made the plea through the media at the Yeppoon Police Station this afternoon.

"We just need you to make contact with someone so we know that you are safe and well," she said.

Mrs Bergman said the family had spoken with Kaitlyn's friends in Clermont and did not know why she left.

Kaitlyn was last seen in Monash St, Clermont, on March 23 (seven days ago).

 

WEDNESDAY: Officers involved in the continuing search for Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe believe the missing 15-year-old girl is currently in the Clermont township.

Late yesterday afternoon police received information indicating she was in the Clermont area and have renewed their appeal for Kaitlyn to come forward and confirm she is safe and well to police.

Police also want to reinforce Kaitlyn is not in trouble and are only concerned for her welfare.

Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe was last seen visiting a residence on Monash Street in Clermont on Wednesday March 23 at 11.30pm.

Kaitlyn is described as Caucasian in appearance, 162cm tall with long straight brown hair, a slim build and green eyes.

She was last seen wearing a black dress, black tights and a black and green baseball cap with "YO!" written in green.

Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is urged to contact police.

 

 

A poster sits in the window of Bella Baristas Caf in Clermont as the community shows their support in the search for the missing teenager.
A poster sits in the window of Bella Baristas Caf in Clermont as the community shows their support in the search for the missing teenager. Emma Boughen

 

TUESDAY AFTERNOON:

Acting Detective Inspector David Tucker urged Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe or anyone who knows of her whereabouts to come forward.

Police and volunteers, including the SES, continue to search along rail lines between Clermont and Emerald and are being assisted by a man who has volunteered the use of his helicopter. 

"Unfortunately we've had no luck in finding Kaityln," Acting Detective Inspector Tucker said. 


2PM: 

CLERMONT café owners Chris Wroe and Annmarie Anderson say the small town of Clermont is gripped with dread as the search for missing teen Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe nears the end of its second day.

"The feeling around town is pretty grim," Mr Wroe said.

"It's almost unbelievable, being such a small town this kind of thing just doesn't happen.

"It's very scary."

The long-time locals and owners of Bella Barista Café said their daughter, who was friends with Kaitlyn "couldn't fathom" the situation.

"It's surreal for her, she hasn't really had time to process what's happening," Mr Wroe said.

"It's such a close-knit community most of the kids all run in the same circle."

Mr Wroe and Ms Anderson said they and the Central Queensland community were all hoping for Kaitlyn's safe return.

 

Overnight members of the Clermont community took to a local Facebook page to urge everyone to light a candle for Kaitlyn and to pray for her safe return home

Regina Gillies, who first posted the idea, thanked all of those who took the time to show their support by lighting a candle. 

"Would like to say a massive thanks to everyone who participated in my request to light a candle and say a prayer for Kaitlyn Earl. Lets hope our prayers are answered and Kaitlyn returns home safe and well very soon. To Jason, Kym and family I know my little idea won't ease your heartache but I hope it helps in knowing you have a lot of support to bring your beautiful girl home. xx Thanks again everyone for your support and kindness near and far," she said. 

SES search teams are still looking for Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe.
SES search teams are still looking for Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe.

What we know:

  • Kaitlyn, 15, was last seen on Wednesday night at 11:30pm. 
  • As the family woke on Thursday morning, ready  to head off on a camping holiday, Kaitlyn's step mother discovered the teenager's empty bed.  
  • The night before her disappearance Kaitlyn had been playing handball with her younger brother and seemed happy.
  • She was previously from Yeppoon and was also known down there as Kaitlyn Rowe.
  • Her mother lives in Yeppoon
  • Police are not treating Kaitlyn's disappearance as suspicious.
  • She is described as caucasian, 162cm tall, of slim build with green eyes and long brown hair.
  • "She was upset about something at school... but would not talk to anyone," Mr Earl said.
  • A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the Earl family - https://www.gofundme.com/raw6yn8k

UPDATE: An air and land search is still underway for missing teenager Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe.

Inspector Dave Tucker of Mackay District said there were concerns for Kaitlyn's wellbeing as she had not made contact with family or friends since Wednesday night.

"We would like to relay to Kaitlyn that she is not in any trouble with police," Inspector Tucker said.  

"In particular we would like Kaitlyn to contact us and let us know that she is safe and well. Police will be able to assist with anything she may need."  

Kaitlyn is described as Caucasian in appearance, 162cm tall with long straight brown hair, a slim build and green eyes.  

She was last seen wearing a black dress, black tights and a black and green baseball cap with "YO!" written in green.

Local police on motorbikes and SES crews are today searching the Clermont area.  

Police have released another image of missing Clermont teenager Kaitlyn Earl.
Police have released another image of missing Clermont teenager Kaitlyn Earl. Contributed

EARLIER: Police will start scouring bushland around Clermont today after a search of rail lines, parks and vacant houses in the town failed to find any trace of missing teen Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe.

"We have searched a number of houses in the township... to see if she was staying there," Acting Detective Inspector Dave Tucker said yesterday.

"We've located nothing... We've now extended the search to parks and sporting grounds around Clermont (and today) we will be searching the bush around the township," he said.

A search by RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service, along rail lines between Clermont and Emerald yesterday, uncovered no indication of Kaitlyn's whereabouts.

15-year-old Kaitlyn Earl has been missing since March 23.
15-year-old Kaitlyn Earl has been missing since March 23. Daniel Harkin

Kaitlyn's father, Jason Earl, expressed the family's desperation on Facebook: "...This is the first time something like this has ever happened here... I know you are all feeling this just like we are, but please be strong for all of us and each other. We... pray we get some word soon that she is okay".

Police also are investigating information resulting from extensive coverage of Kaitlyn's disappearance.

"To date we are no closer to locating Kaitlyn," Acting Inspector Tucker said.

"We don't think her disappearance is suspicious but we certainly do hold fears for her welfare.

"We are appealing to anyone, and to Kaitlyn herself, to come forward," he said. 

"Ring the police, a family member or even a friend, just to let us know she is safe and well."

The 15-year-old was last seen talking to a friend in Clermont late on March, 23.

She is of Caucasian appearance, 162cm tall with long, straight brown hair, a slim build and green eyes.

If you have any information phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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