A “resourceful” 47-year-old woman missing for months has been found alive in a tent in Utah County, Utah, telling officials she foraged for grass and moss to survive.
Officials believe the woman — who was weak and had lost weight when found Monday — chose to stay in the Diamond Fork area over the last few months, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said.
Search and rescue crews first looked for her in December after finding an abandoned car and camping equipment.
“Over the next several months efforts were made to identify and contact family without success,” the sheriff’s office said Monday. “Detectives did make contact with this woman’s former co-workers but they did not get any information that suggested where this woman might be. They did, however, find information that suggested this woman might struggle with mental health challenges.”
On Sunday, a sheriff’s office sergeant and other searchers returned to Diamond Fork to look for her. When their drone crashed, the sergeant and drone pilot walked into the hills to retrieve it, and came across a tent, the sheriff’s office said. Inside was the missing woman.
She had a small amount of food with her and access to water in a nearby river, officials said.
Deputies took the woman to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation, officials said.
The sheriff’s office said, “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. Resources were made available to her should she decide to use them.”