Backpacker rescued from 'kidnapper' in Australia after texting dad in Britain

Mary Kate Heys, 20, in a photo from her Instagram page.
Mary Kate Heys, 20, in a photo from her Instagram page.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

A British backpacker who feared for her life after being held in a car against her will was rescued by police in Australia after texting her father thousands of miles away in England.

Mary Kate Heys, 20, met the man while staying at the same hostel in Queensland, according to media reports.

She agreed to take a road trip to Brisbane with him on Monday (Dec 12) but became suspicious when he began driving in the opposite direction and refused to let her out of the vehicle, according to the Huffington Post.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIQFXhzjMtZ/?taken-by=mkheys https://www.instagram.com/p/BNc9SGAFlrW/?taken-by=mkheys

Heys sent a series of desperate texts to her father at home. 

"Dad are you awake," she asked in her first text.

"Yeah it's only 7 at night x Are you okay x," he replied.

Ms Heys then shared her location to her father and said: "I need you to call the Australian police. Do not ring me. And tell them I'm in a silver Peugeot."

She added: "I've been taken by a man. I don't think he's dangerous. Please hurry."

In one text, she said: "He thinks he's an alien."

Her father called police and asked her to keep sending him messages with her location.

Heys also sent messages to her dad showing her location on Google Maps.

“I sent him a message no parent ever wants to get,’’ Ms Heys told The Courier-Mail.

“I was using maps to direct him (the driver) to Cairns and I kept pretending there was something wrong with the app so I could secretly message my dad to call the police."

Police caught up with the vehicle at Gympie, about 80km away from the hostel the pair were staying at.

The pair were driving for about an hour and a half before officers intervened, news.com.au reports.

The driver, 22, from Sweden, was arrested and taken to hospital for medical treatment.

Heys, from Manchester, said she thought the man was “going to kill us both”.

She told 7 News Sydney: “He was talking about him being an alien with such passion that I actually kind of believed him. I was like ‘right, I’m in a bit of trouble here’.

“Because I literally thought he was going to kill us both, he was so erratic.

“I thought it could have been a suicide pact or something. He could have literally driven us into a lake or something.”

She later told Britain's Daily Mail: "Dad is just relieved that I am safe – but still really shocked about what happened."

Heys was supposed to stay in Australia for a year but wants to head home to her parents.

"I am all shook up," she told Daily Mail. "Every time I hear a noise, I jump. I just don't feel safe – I want to go home and maybe come back in a few months once I have calmed down."

Heys told the Daily Mail she has decided not to press charges against the man and says she hopes he gets better.