A Belgian tourist, allegedly abducted east of Adelaide, managed to get a desperate message to her family who alerted police, leading to her rescue and an arrest, it has been revealed.
A 52-year-old man will be charged with serious sex offences and with the abduction of 24-year-old backpacker after being arrested at a property near Meningie on Saturday.
The backpacker also managed to contact a friend in Queensland during her ordeal, which began when her alleged captor answered her internet advertisement. Police said the backpacker had posted an advertisement on the Gumtree website, asking for work in Victoria.
"I'm looking for these jobs in Melbourne starting 30 of January. With accommodation stay or hostel nearby. Cuz I don't have a car. I love nature and animals, I eat fruit every day;) it would be nice to do a job like this. If you have something please let me know. Thx," her advertisement read. She was found safe at a property at Murray Bridge on Friday after going missing when she travelled to the town by bus on Thursday.
Earlier on Friday detectives had expressed fears the tourist was being held against her will and appealed to anyone who had her captive to release her without harm.
Detective Inspector Greg Huchins said it would be alleged the offences occurred at the Meningie property where the man was taken into custody.
"That person is currently in the Murray Bridge Police Station where we will be refusing bail," he told reporters on Saturday.
The man is expected to appear in the Murray Bridge Magistrates Court on Monday.
The backpacker is still being cared for by police as she continues to recover.
"She is still with police, she is well, unharmed and obviously her family is very grateful that she is safe," Insp Huchins said.
The backpacker had left her tourist accommodation in Adelaide's CBD and boarded a bus to Murray Bridge on Thursday morning.
From there it was thought she had been picked up by someone in a red ute.
Late on Friday police received information from a member of the public which led them to a house at Murray Bridge where they found the woman. The backpacker arrived in Adelaide on February 2 and visited Kangaroo Island before returning to the city on February 6.
Facebook posts revealed she had also visited Sydney and Tasmania on her travels in what was planned to be an extended period in Australia.
It is unclear if she will return to Belgium or stay on in Australia.