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Sheriff stumbles upon woman in tent over 5 months after she went missing
"Our hats are off to her as a survivor. Her ability to survive in undoubtedly difficult circumstances is remarkable."
Jessica Adler
09.29.21

Officers of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office received reports one day that a 47-ear-old woman had suddenly disappeared. It seemed that she had quite literally vanished, leaving no clues behind as to where she might have gone.

The officers searched for her everywhere they could think of with no luck.

After five long months of searching, they had begun to fear the worst for her.

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Fox 13 News - Youtube

She was first reported missing after a U.S Forest Service employee found her vehicle.

The red car had seemingly been abandoned in a parking lot near the Dry Canyon Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon.

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Fox 13 News - Youtube

After a few weeks went by, officers set up a search party in a bid to find the woman.

Winter was approaching, and they wanted to inform her that the area she had parked in had closed for the season.

“We didn’t have immediate reason to believe that she was in danger; we just didn’t know what her status was,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “All we had was her car down here in this parking lot, some of her personal items in that car and the campsite up here — all of which had appeared to have been unused for an extended period of time and no evidence that she was still here.”

Fox 13 News - Youtube
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Fox 13 News - Youtube

The area was searched multiple times over the winter, as officers looked for any indication that the woman could still be alive.

In the end, their big discovery actually came from a happy accident.

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Fox 13 News - Youtube

“They sent the drone up, and apparently on one of its first passes, the drone crashed. So they went up looking for the drone that had crashed, and in doing that, they came across another small campsite where there was a tent,” said Sgt. Cannon. “As they’re looking at this, the zipper of the tent unzipped and this woman who we had identified the previous year in November and December of last year sticks her head out.”

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Fox 13 News - Youtube

It was just before 3pm on Sunday when Officer Cannon made the radio call that the woman had been found safe and alive.

“We’ve had a missing person all winter, I just found her alive in Diamond Fork, kind of worried about her health condition, lack of food and water,” he said.

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Fox 13 News - Youtube

After five months out in the wilderness, the woman was in a rough physical shape. She’d rationed the little food she had left, before turning to a diet of grass, moss, and water from the stream.

It was certainly a surprise for the officers, who thought that they’d be searching for a body.

“We fully expected we wouldn’t find anybody related to that alive up here given how long it had been… In situations like that, we often find somebody after they passed away,” said Sgt. Cannon. “We were quite relieved and happy that she was still alive.”

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Fox 13 News - Youtube

It appeared that the woman wasn’t lost after all, but had taken herself to the remote area by choice.

However, she was happy to comply with officers and take a trip to Utah Valley Hospital for a physical and mental health examination.

“Our hats off to her as a survivor. Whatever else is going on in her life, her ability to survive in undoubtedly difficult circumstances is remarkable,” said Sgt. Cannon. “We want to be clear that while many people might choose to not live in the circumstances and conditions this woman did, she did nothing against the law. And in the future she might choose to return to the same area.”

Learn more about this fascinating story in the video below!

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By Jessica Adler
hi@sbly.com
Jessica Adler is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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