Sunshine Coast mum Vickie Barrett has been found safe and well.
Sunshine Coast mum Vickie Barrett has been found safe and well.

Police don't rule out charging mum

POLICE have not ruled out charging a Sunshine Coast woman after she left her children at a service station and disappeared for more than two days.

Vickie Barrett, who was last seen in Nambour on Wednesday night, returned to her mother's Mt Coolum home Friday night, according to police.

Queensland Police had reportedly ruled out charging the 37-year-old earlier today, before a spokesman retracted the statement.

“The investigations haven't been completed. Until then, no decision has been made on any charges," the spokesman said.

Police have released no other details of where she had been found or the circumstances around her disappearance.

Family members told media that they had no idea where the woman had been or the circumstances around her disappearance.

Police earlier said a woman matching Ms Barrett’s description was last seen walking north along Nambour-Connection Rd on the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday night.

She had left her children in the car at a service station in Nambour about 11pm.

Manager of the service station Joi Frank said Ms Barrett came into the service station for just a few minutes before leaving again.

He said a little girl aged about eight came in about half an hour later with a mobile phone and called her father.

Police were called after an employee heard the conversation and they waited with the children until their grandparents arrived.

Ms Barrett’s family was extremely worried about her disappearance and concerned for her safety, saying her actions are out of character.

“She’s not the sort of person that would do this ... she is not the sort of person who would run away from family,” Ms Barrett’s mother June Waite told brisbanetimes.com.au earlier.

“We’re just quite shattered,” she told Channel 10.

“We want her to come home as soon as possible, we all need her badly.

“The kids are missing her.”

The woman’s sister had left her own three children with their grandmother on Thursday night, and police thought the sisters might have been together.

Laura Waite, 32, walked in the front door to her mother and three children yesterday morning before being questioned by police over the whereabouts of her sister.

When contacted by the Daily at home yesterday, Ms Waite said she did not know anything and did not know what had happened.

She confirmed that she spoke with police shortly after arriving home yesterday morning, but noted that “nothing came of it”.

Ms Waite sparked a massive police and SES search of the local area.

Mum 'not the type' to abandon children

THE mother of a missing Sunshine Coast woman who abandoned her children at a service station says she is not the sort of person to run away from her family.

Police raised the alarm yesterday after Coast sisters Vickie Barrett, 38, and Laura Waite, 32, had not contacted any family or friends since Wednesday.

A police investigation began after Ms Barrett (pictured) left her two primary school children alone in her car at a service station at Nambour about 11pm on Wednesday.

She was last seen walking north towards Yandina, where police now believe she was picked up by her sister.

Ms Waite, who lives at Coolum with her mother and three children, was not noticed missing until yesterday morning.

The women’s mother, June Waite, told the Daily her younger daughter Laura returned home this morning in her 1996 blue Mitsubishi Lancer Coupe.

As soon as she arrived, she was taken away by police to be interviewed.

Mrs Waite said her daughter had been 'shocked' by the news surrounding her sister.


Mrs Waite told brisbanetimes.com.au the 37-year-old hairdresser was a loving mother.

‘‘She’s not the sort of person that would do this ... she is not the sort of person who would run away from family,’’ she said.

‘‘She works four days a week ... and might enjoy a wine at night, but she wouldn’t do anything untoward.

‘‘We just want her back.’’

Both women care for their children by themselves and it was originally believed they may have fled together.

CIB chief Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards said uniformed police and State Emergency Service volunteers searched areas of bushland near the road where Ms Barrett was last seen.

The investigation broadened after police were told of the disappearance of Ms Waite as well.

“There was some indication during a family function in Maroochydore (on Wednesday) ... that they both weren’t coping with their situations at the moment and this may have lead to their actions later in the night,” Snr Sgt Edwards said.

“At the same time we’re still concerned that Vickie Barrett has walked off on her own.

“She is generally responsible with her children and her work commitments.”

Ms Barrett left her mobile phone and wallet in her car at the service station.

Ms Waite’s phone was switched off yesterday, Snr Sgt Edwards said.

Snr Sgt Edwards said Ms Barrett sat in her car with her children for about 20 minutes before she walked into the service station.

She did not say anything to the attendant before she walked back out and did not return to her car.

Her children phoned their father, who works in central Queensland. They are now being taken care of by their father’s parents.

Ms Waite and Ms Barrett are believed to be in their mother’s car, a blue 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage with the Queensland registration 264 GBD.

People who have seen the vehicle should report the sighting to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

“We appeal to those women to contact family or police to let them know where they are,” Snr Sgt Edwards said.

“The family and police are very concerned for them.

“If they have some personal issues they need to sort out, all very well. But please let family and police know where you are.”

Snr Sgt Edwards said there was no indication that either woman was the victim of foul play.



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