A 20-year-old British woman has been rescued by Queensland police after being held captive by a mentally unstable man in a car throughout the early hours of Monday morning.
The backpacker sent a series of text messages and a Google Maps location pin to her father in England, asking him to contact the Australian police.
Trouble began for Mary Kate Heys when she was awoken at approximately 4.30am in her Sunshine Coast hostel by a man in a “manic state” who asked her to go on a road trip with him immediately. Fearing he was on drugs and wanting to help, Heys agreed.
Within moments of entering the car, however, it became clear to Heys she was in serious danger. When she asked to exit the car, the man refused.
“He kept talking about how ‘they’ (aliens) were coming to get us and we had to get to Cairns to escape,” Heys told The Courier-Mail following her rescue.
“I was so scared and I thought I was going to die.”
Trying to remain calm, Heys began texting her father instructions.
"Dad are you awake," the texts begin.
"I need you to call the Australian police. I've been taken by a man ... please hurry," they continued before she sent him a Google Maps location.
“I said ‘don’t worry’ but I knew getting a message like that would be a parent’s worst nightmare,” Heys said following the ordeal.
Heys was eventually rescued in Gympie, almost an hour and a half away from where the pair set off when police pulled the man's car over.
The 22-year-old man, who is yet to be named, was taken to a psychiatric ward.
Heys has said she does not plan to press charges because she believes the man needs medical help, rather than jail time.