By ERWIN CHLANDA
“Monika has travelled off the beaten path for many years and in many countries and has always proceeded with caution,” writes the Billen Family from Cologne in an email to the Alice Springs News Online.
“We fear that Monika has had an accident or has become the victim of a violent crime.
“It is normal for her to take several days between messages to us, and that is why we did not know at first that she was missing.
“We have been consumed with worry ever since we heard of Monika’s disappearance, especially because we know her as a very responsible and capable person,” write her brother, her mother, and other family members in a plea “for your help in finding her”.
They write in their appeal to the people of Alice Springs: “Monika was enjoying her stay in your area very much, and she has always loved to meet people in the places where she travels.”
They quote from Ms Billen’s last email: “In the heat I take more or less extensive walks in the surroundings of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Somehow the heat fits well with the landscape.
“I took a picture from the Botanical Garden lookout hill, which is near my accommodation and offers plenty of shady places to sit, dream and read.”
The family members write: “We hope that one of you has talked to her, or at least seen a glimpse of her in recent days, and can help us find our dearly beloved daughter, sister and aunt.”
They repeat her description, previously circulated by the police: “Monika has a Caucasian appearance, a slim build, 168 cm tall, with short grey hair and grey eyes, and was last seen wearing a red chequered long-sleeve top, denim knee-length shorts, a bright red backpack, and yellow cashmere scarf to protect her from the sun.”
The family says information, apart from giving it to the police, can be emailed to email@example.com
By ERWIN CHLANDA