On May 3rd A woman who had been declared missing since November was found alive in a tent in Spanish Fork Canyon. The 47 year old was thought to be missing since her car and camping equipment were found abandoned late last year. When the woman was found she was considerably underweight and weak, having to live through the winter with only her tent, a sleeping bag, and means to make a fire. Despite the conditions she lived under, the 47 year old was uninjured besides being underweight and weak.
Authorities had searched for the woman multiple times before but had not been able to locate her. Ground searches were unsuccessful but at one point they had gotten some of her telephone information that suggested she might be residing in Colorado, but still they were unable to locate her. Her recent discovery occurred when the drone officials used to search Spanish Fork crashed. When they went to retrieve it they found what they believed to be an abandoned tent. However when they got closer they were met by the woman as she unzipped the tent and peeked her head out to greet them. The woman was taken into custody and taken to the hospital to evaluate both her physical and mental health. Although proven to be unharmed physically, she was found to possibly have mental troubles and because of this her name has not been released.
Authorities have speculated that the woman was missing and living in the woods by choice. The sheriff’s office made the statement “We want to be clear that while many people might not choose to live in the circumstances and conditions the woman did, she did nothing against the law.¨ to clarify that even though the 47 year olds choice was rather taboo, she did nothing illegal and was not going to be taken into custody. The police have said they have offered the woman help and resources but whether she chooses to use them or not is up to her.
The woman told officials that she had eaten grass and moss to stay alive and got water from a nearby river. Her statements solidified the idea that she stayed in the secluded area knowingly and willingly. Officials have said that if the woman were to choose to go back into seclusion, that is her choice but they would make resources available to her and encourage her to take advantage of them.