Story at a glance

  • Authorities found the woman’s car abandoned at a campground parking lot in November.
  • Utah County Sheriff’s Office detectives and search and rescue personnel were unable to find anyone in the area at the time, and attempts to locate and contact the woman’s family members since November had been unsuccessful.
  • On Sunday, the sheriff’s search and rescue coordinator returned to the area to continue the search for the woman and found her in a tent.

Authorities say a woman who was missing for nearly six months was found in a tent in a national forest in Utah County, Utah, this week and foraged for grass and moss to survive. 

According to a statement from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, authorities found the 47-year-old woman’s car and camping equipment in a parking lot at the Dry Canyon Trailhead in the Diamond Fork area of Spanish Fork Canyon in November 2020. 


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Utah County Sheriff’s Office detectives and search and rescue (SAR) personnel were unable to find anyone in the area at the time, and attempts to locate and contact the woman’s family members since November had been unsuccessful. 

“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,” the statement said. 

On Sunday, the sheriff’s search and rescue coordinator returned to the area to continue the search for the woman along with the help of a drone. 

During one of the first passes, the drone crashed and a sergeant and drone pilot walked into the hills to retrieve it. That’s when they came across a tent with the woman inside. 

“The zipper of the tent opened and there was the woman SAR officials searched for in December 2020,” authorities said. 

Police say they believe the woman chose to remain in the area and had lost a significant amount of weight and was weak. She had a small amount of food and foraged for grass and moss to survive and had access to water in a nearby river. 

She was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. 

“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. Resources were made available to her should she decide to use them,” the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said. 


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Published on May 05, 2021