News, Culture & Society

Tahnee Shanks: Details emerge about last texts sent by missing Australian mum in Mexico

The brother of an Australian women who is missing in Mexico says he had a text conversation with her on social media that ‘didn’t seem right’ just before her two-year-old was left behind, alone, at a church in Cancun. 

Tahnee Shanks, 32, originally from the Whitsundays, Queensland, has been described as ‘always in the company of her daughter and her husband’ Jorge Aguirre Astudillo. 

But Ms Shanks has not been seen since Cancun locals found her daughter Adelynn alone outside a church this week – sparking grave fears for her safety. Her ex-partner has similarly vanished.

Ms Shanks’s brother, Daniel, told the ABC that Ms Shanks claimed she was on a little holiday with her family in a small fishing village with poor reception but something felt off. 

‘I’m assuming I was talking to him (Mr Astudillo),’ he said. 

Tahnee Shanks, 32, (pictured right) originally from the Whitsundays, Queensland, is missing in Mexico where she was holidaying

Ms Shanks (pictured right) had been travelling with her ex partner Jorge (middle) and their daughter (left) in south Mexico before she was reported as missing

Ms Shanks (pictured right) had been travelling with her ex partner Jorge (middle) and their daughter (left) in south Mexico before she was reported as missing

Ms Shanks and Adelynn were due to return to Australia in June but now her Australian family is travelling to Mexico to find her after the two-year-old was found by neighbours at the Chapel of the San Archangel (pictured)

Ms Shanks and Adelynn were due to return to Australia in June but now her Australian family is travelling to Mexico to find her after the two-year-old was found by neighbours at the Chapel of the San Archangel (pictured)

Tahnee's two-year-old daughter Adelynn was found wandering the streets late at night. She currently in the care of child protection authorities

The two-year-old (pictured) is now in the care of the Benito Juárez Municipality as her Australian uncle is set to fly to Mexico to join the search for his missing sister

Tahnee’s two-year-old daughter Adelynn was found wandering the streets late at night. She currently in the care of child protection authorities

Daniel’s comments came as further details emerged about how the two-year-old was found. 

An urgent message posted to Facebook alerting the local community in the Yucatan province that the girl had bizarrely been found. 

Daniel said his niece was ‘dumped’ at a church in the Mexican tourist town late at night and was found wandering the streets. 

As for his sister, she sent photos of the beaches they were visiting but ‘next minute nothing from her’. 

Daniel has offered a $5000 reward for his sister’s safe return and has spent the last two days dealing with Mexican and Australian authorities

The last know photos of the Ms Shanks and Mr Astudillo show them in Las Coloradas, one province plus 150 kilometres from where their daughter was found in Cancun on Mexico’s tropical southern tip. 

Ms Shanks has no family in Mexico with her but is normally active on social media. However her family hasn’t heard from her for days.

Daniel has been trying to contact Mr Astudillo, who drives a white Toyota Tundra. 

Daily Mail Australia doesn’t suggest that the ex-partner is involved in her disappearance.

A police public appeal for information about Ms Shanks’ whereabouts have been widely shared on both sides of the world. 

It’s understood Ms Shanks was weeks away from heading home back to Australia with her daughter next month after she recently separated from her partner.

Witnesses say they saw a man pass Adelynn to a stranger in front of a church in the 220 Quintana Roo district.

Another brother, Benjamin Shanks, and their mother Leanne will head to Mexico on Friday to join the search. 

Ben told 7News he had received a call on Tuesday from Tahnee’s former Australian boyfriend who had originally lived with her when they travelled to Mexico. 

A previous boyfriend of Ms Shanks, and Australian she moved to Mexico with, told Benjamin a video was circulating on Mexican social media pages of a young girl found outside of a Cancun chapel. 

Benjamin watched the video and the Mackay-based Shanks family recognised the girl as their niece and connected it with Ms Shanks inactive social media accounts.

Australian mum Tahnee Shanks (pictured with her ex-partner) has gone missing in Mexico

Australian mum Tahnee Shanks (pictured with her ex-partner) has gone missing in Mexico

Tahnee's family raised the alarm after they were made aware of photos being circulated of little Adelynn wandering Cancun alone late at night

Tahnee’s family raised the alarm after they were made aware of photos being circulated of little Adelynn wandering Cancun alone late at night

Ms Shank's family insists she would never leave her little girl, who turned two last November

Ms Shank’s family insists she would never leave her little girl, who turned two last November

Ms Shanks had been living in Yucatán capital of Merida. She was waiting to receive her toddler’s passport and had booked plane tickets to arrive in Australia on June 22.

It’s understood little ‘Addy’ is currently safe and being cared for by child protection agency DIF.

Ms Shanks family and friends are fearing the worst. 

‘She’s never off social media and she would never leave that girl. That’s the scariest thing,’ Ben told the publication.

‘We know Tahnee wouldn’t leave that girl on her own.’

Concerned friends also hold grave fears for Ms Shanks. 

‘She is a very dedicated mother and would never abandon her daughter. Something serious had to happen for the little girl to find herself alone,’ a family friend wrote. 

Mexico Police have launched a desperate search for missing Australian Tahnee Shanks

Mexico Police have launched a desperate search for missing Australian Tahnee Shanks

Ms Shanks (pictured middle) was on holidays with her ex-partner (right) and her daughter (left) when she vanished in Mexico, a continent away from any of her family

Ms Shanks (pictured middle) was on holidays with her ex-partner (right) and her daughter (left) when she vanished in Mexico, a continent away from any of her family

Tahnee Shanks' mum and brother are on their way to Mexico to find out what happened to her

Tahnee Shanks’ mum and brother are on their way to Mexico to find out what happened to her

The devoted mum’s social media pages are full of happy snaps of her little girl.

Ms Shanks had been travelling the world since she was 18 and describes herself on social media as a ‘Happy Hippy Ginger Ninja meering around the world one country at a time.’

Before she went overseas, she worked in Australia as an assistant nurse looking after the elderly, which she described as a rewarding career.

‘The travel bug bit me in 2010 taking me on my first 18 month journey through Asia and parts of Europe volunteering and couch surfing my way across the country,’ the freelance writer wrote on a travel blog for the Whitsundays.

Ms Shanks returned home and saved for two years and then headed back overseas travelling through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and the US before settling in Mexico. 

She is described as having a fair complexion, and has red hair, light brown eyes, 165 centimetres tall, thin build and has a distinctive tattoo along her right thigh.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk