An Australian hotel worker missing from Canadian ski mecca Whistler sent desperate text messages to friends on the night she vanished, police have revealed.

Alison Leanne Raspa, 25, was last seen leaving the Three Below Restaurant and Lounge in Whistler Village just after midnight on November 23.

The following morning Raspa's mobile phone was found at Alpha Lake Park in Creekside Village, around 7km away. Her jacket, backpack and wallet were found in the same area by a local later that day.

READ MORE
New clues in mysterious case of missing backpacker

Advertisement

Rescue workers and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) divers equipped with sonar technology searched the lake and surrounding areas but have so far failed to find any further trace of the young traveller, who is originally from Perth.

Now news.com.au can reveal that several of Raspa's friends received desperate text messages from her shortly after 1am on the night she vanished.

RCMP Whistler Staff Sergeant Paul Hayes said the messages, sent from Raspa's mobile phone, stated she was lost.

"She spoke with a friend in the Village Stroll area and later investigators believe Ms Raspa may have taken public transport to an area near Highway 99 and Lake Placid Road (before) walking west toward Alpha Lake," Sergeant Hayes said.

"At approximately 1.15am, Ms Raspa texted some of her friends to confirm she was lost.

"A citizen found a jacket, backpack and wallet belonging to Ms Raspa. These items were found near Highway 99 and Lake Placid Road.

"Her cellphone was located by another citizen in Alpha Lake Park."

Sgt Hayes said police had so far been unable to determine why Raspa had discarded her belongings but there has been speculation in the Canadian press that the young Aussie may have been suffering from hypothermia in the below freezing temperatures.

The onset of hypothermia is often characterised by "hot flashes" which commonly result in the sufferer shedding their clothes.

Sgt Hayes said investigators did not believe there were any suspicious circumstances surrounding her disappearance but were keeping an open mind.

"I am able to say at this point that while all investigative options are open as to what happened to Ms Raspa, at this time the RCMP have no reason to believe foul play was involved," he told news.com.au.

Meanwhile the ground search was today suspended following an extensive almost two-week effort by police and emergency services to locate Raspa.

"The search to date and been extensive and has circumnavigated the park, lakes, as well as the road and trails leading from the village to Alpha Lake Park," Sgt Hayes said.

"At this point all available leads have been exhausted."

The decision to stand down the search will be a devastating blow to family members — believed to include Raspa's brother Steve and a woman understood to be their mother — who flew from Australia to Whistler to join the search efforts.

Canadian media reported a visibly upset Mr Raspa told volunteers: "Thank you for searching for my sister," this afternoon local time as the search operation came to an end.

Police have refused to say whether Raspa was intoxicated when she left the Three Below bar and owner Priyanka Kathuria declined to be interviewed while the investigation is ongoing.

They are still trying to track down motorists, bus and taxi operators who may have given the Australian a lift to Alpha Lake Park that night, given it was unlikely she walked the estimated seven km from the bar.

On Monday, a family insider told news.com.au that relatives who had flown to Whistler to help search for Raspa had heard disturbing rumours surrounding her disappearance.

They included claims she had been "upset" by "something that happened at work" before going missing.

"Police are looking through the camera footage where Alison works so they can observe her on a day-to-day basis in the days before she disappeared," the insider said.

"Alison's (family members in Whistler) have been told that she was upset about something to do with work so police are looking for clues on the (CCTV) tapes."

The source also claimed the family had heard that something had occurred outside the Three Below bar on the night she vanished.

However, a Three Below employee told news.com.au that he was "100 per cent sure there was no altercation outside the bar that night".

"I know because I was here that night and I have told police everything that happened that night and handed over all the security camera footage," he said.

"There are so many rumours and stories floating around about what happened to Alison right now so it's pretty weird.

"It's a small place. I mean only about 20,000 people live here at Whistler."

Raspa's co-workers at the Westin Resort and Spa in Whistler called police after she failed to turn up to her shift the next morning.

Raspa moved to Whistler in May and had recently extended her working visa for another six months.

Family and friends had believed Raspa would be safe travelling on her own thanks to her expertise in Kung Fu.

"We are sick with worry," the family insider said.

"Alison had a black belt. How can someone with a black belt just disappear like that?"

A number of Raspa's friends in Australia have launched Facebook campaigns to find her and their appeals for information have become increasingly desperate as each day passes with no news.

"Nobody knows anything, which is really sad," Raspa's Westin hotel colleague and friend Raiko Kiudmaa told CTV News.

Kiudmaa was one of a handful of friends to have "liked" the final photographs posted on Raspa's Facebook page.

"Alison is a very, very nice girl," he told the station. "A little bit quiet or shy, but if you talk with her she's very open-minded."

Raspa's former roommate Katie, who asked for her surname to be withheld, organised a walk from Whistler's gondolas near the Three Below bar to Alpha Lake Park where her phone and backpack were found.

"I posted it (on Facebook) the day after she was reported missing. There's obviously a community here and people might know something," Katie said.

Raspa was last seen wearing a black sweater, a white and black striped shirt, and black pants.

Police are again appealing to the public asking if anyone remembers seeing Raspa on the evening of November 22 and into the early morning hours of November 23 to contact police at 604 932-3044.