Andrea Ebert has also expressed sadness for her two grandchildren, aged one and three, who, she says, “are true victims of this tragedy”.
“Their well-being is our utmost priority. With Michael’s family we share in their future,” Andrea Ebert said in a statement read by police today.
Her comments came as major crime detectives continued searching a remote South Australian sheep for her daughter.
Mounted police joined officers at the 410 square kilometre sheep station near Mannahill, northeast of Adelaide, today.
Ebert disappeared earlier this month and her husband, Michael Burdon, killed himself at the property on August 16 while police were there.
The 41-year-old remains the only suspect in Ebert’s likely murder.
“It’s very hard not knowing what happened to Tanja,” Andrea Ebert said in her statement today.
“We do not feel hopeless. It is our hope to find Tanja alive and well. We also grieve for Michael Burdon. His family are in our thoughts and our hearts. We are devastated for them. We knew Michael as a wonderful father, a good friend and a sociable person.
“We worry about Tanja’s and Michael’s two young sons, who are true victims of this tragedy.”
Police have been searching old mine sites and other areas of interest on the property since Wednesday with the help of mining experts and specialist camera equipment.
The last time Tanja Ebert was seen by people other than her family was on August 8 when she visited the SA Museum in Adelaide with her husband and sons.
As the family drove back to Mannahill, Burdon told police she became agitated and got out of the car near Roseworthy, north of the city, and walked off.
But he did not report her missing. Another family member contacted authorities two days later.
Ebert arrived in Australia from Germany several years ago and married Burdon in February.
Michael Burdon’s family also released a statement today through SA Police saying his “sudden and shocking death has devastated our family”.
“We loved Michael very much, and our primary focus is now the care and support of his two young boys,” the statement said.
“We are still trying to come to terms with the tragic events of the past three weeks and we ask the media to please respect our privacy at this time.”
– with AAP