Extreme heat was the likely cause of death for camper Jessica Stephens, who went missing at Kakadu National Park last week and was tragically found deceased on Saturday.

Northern Territory Police Assistant Commissioner Travis Wurst revealed the police and rangers who searched for her near Nourlangie Rock in the vast park confronted “50 degree heat” during their three-day search operation.

“They were confronted by weather up to 50 degrees in that particular area,” he said.

“And if you are in that area without the appropriate sustenance, shelter or shade, the likelihood of perishing, unfortunately, is heightened significantly.”

Assistant Commissioner Wurst said the police did not believe Ms Stephens’ death was suspicious but “all avenues” would be investigated.

“We understand that person appears to have left her vehicle at a point in time and unfortunately a number of days later we found her deceased,” he said.

“The matter is under investigation.”

The Assistant Commissioner said the police had contacted Ms Stephens’ family.

“The family are being cared for,” he said.

“A very tragic set of circumstances unfortunately but at least the family now has closure.

“The matter is now before the coroner.”

Sixty-four people, including 14 police officers and 24 rangers, were involved in the search.

Ms Stephens is believed to have travelled to the park, located about 250km east of Darwin, on October 17 and to have camped near Nourlangie Rock.

Ms Stephens, 37, was reported missing after days of no contact with her family and the police organised a large-scale search on October 24 amid “extreme heatwaves”.

Two days after the search began, police located personal items believe to belong to Ms Stephen a “considerable distance” from the walking track.

Earlier in the week, Ms Stephens’ mother, Karon Evans, issued a desperate plea saying “our hearts are breaking” on social media.

“My beautiful daughter Jess has been missing for eight days now,” she said.

“Please share far and wide if anyone knows anything please call police or message me direct. Our hearts are breaking. “

Nourlangie Rock, also known as Burrungkuy, is a popular destination for tourists known for its World Heritage rock art and colourful birdlife.

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