Police checking to see if missing hinterland hiker story is real

Police acting on a tip-off are doing some digging to discover if the hiker who claimed he lost his way in the Gold Coast hinterland, sparking a full-scale search, faked the whole ordeal.

58-year-old Brian Saunders claimed he survived in the bush for five nights on a packet of sultanas in May.

When he called for help he was told to stay where he was.  But when search crews arrived at that location the following morning, he was gone.


Then Mr Saunders walked out on his own and found his way to a farmhouse where he called emergency services.

The Courier Mail reports Officers have taken DNA samples found at a makeshift campsite and cottage that could have served as potential hiding places.  Those samples will be checked by Forensics teams.

If police believe that Mr Saunders staged his disappearance he may be charged with causing an unnecessary investigation.

Doubts were raised about his story when he emerged in good spirits, physical condition and was keen to make money out of his story.

Mr Saunders maintains he did nothing wrong.