A search for a missing woman by police in Manjimup, Western Australia, on Sunday had an unexpected ending when she was found hiding under a thriving cannabis plant. The drama began when police were told by an ex-partner of the woman in her mid-40s that she was being "held against her will" at a nominated address.
With concerns for her welfare, police arrived at the home and sought her whereabouts.
"The male homeowner at first denied any knowledge of the woman's whereabouts other than she was 'in town', a Manjimup policeman said.
The attending officers asked the homeowner whether they could look around and eventually took their search outside.
"The first I saw was a pair of socks sticking out from the bush and they don't usually go with a marijuana plant. It wasn't really well-thought through," said one of the officers who found her.
"The woman was really worried we were going to take her back to her ex-partner, but we assured her we were only concerned for her welfare."
A second bush was growing alongside her hiding place and four others were allegedly found drying out.
The Manjimup officers tweeted the good news of finding the woman safe and sound:
"Police looking for a female after concerns for her welfare located her curled up under a cannabis plant hiding."
The homeowner, who has known the woman for 17 years, was charged with several drug-related offences.
The woman is understood to have remained at the house, but has now moved indoors.