JADE BRISKEY often brings smiles from those around her, but never more so than when she was found alive yesterday after being missing for three days.
Her parents, Steve and Linda Kelly, were told the good news just after 2pm; that a man, walking with his children, had found their daughter in bush about two kilometres from their Holland Park home, in an area off Cavendish Road in Mount Gravatt East.
They were reunited with 31-year-old Jade, who has Down syndrome, shortly after.
An "overwhelmed" Mr Kelly said Ms Briskey was "pretty tired and just wanted to sleep", "but is doing very well considering she has been in the elements for the past 55 hours".
When found, Ms Briskey was suffering from dehydration, but was otherwise in good health. She was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for treatment and observation.
Mr Kelly said his family was immensely grateful to everyone who thought of or looked for Ms Briskey since she slipped out of their home, just after 8am on Thursday.
"Linda and I just want to thank everyone involved, from the police to the SES and all the other agencies, to friends and family," Mr Kelly said.
"We especially would like to thank the man who found Jade and also the media for all their resources and for allowing us, as a family, to remain private.''
Inspector Owen Elloy, of Metropolitan South Region, said the man who found Ms Briskey recognised her from media reports.
The senior police officer praised the search, which involved a helicopter, horses, trail bikes and about 60 State Emergency Service volunteers working with police to scour roads and areas around the Brisbane south suburb of Tarragindi.
The area where Ms Briskey went missing included 260 hectares of dense bush called Toohey Forest, which made the search more difficult. Police had also been worried that Ms Briskey's shy and gentle nature, combined with her short stature, would mean she would be mistaken for a child and not the woman they were looking for.
"Search crews never gave up hope and we are all very glad to have Jade back safely," Inspector Elloy said.