A woman who went missing in the US nearly 6 months ago was found living in a forest, subsisting off grass, moss
- Utah officials found a 47-year-old woman living in a national forest on Sunday.
- The woman went missing in late November, when her car was found parked in a campground nearby.
- Officials believe she lived in the park by choice, subsisting off moss and grass.
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Utah officials found a missing woman this weekend, nearly six months after she disappeared in a national forest.
The 47-year-old woman - whom officials have not named - was found living in a tent, sustaining herself on foraged grass and moss, according to a Monday press release from the Utah County Sheriff's Office.
Officials first noticed the woman was missing on November 25, 2020, when they found her car parked in a campground lot connected to the Diamond Fork area of Spanish Fork Canyon, while closing a road for the winter, according to the press release.
At the time, officials conducted an initial search by ground and air but couldn't find any sign of the woman, the press release states. Believing she may have abandoned the car, they impounded it.
Over the ensuing months, officials tried to identify and contact the woman's relatives, to no avail. They were able to contact her former coworkers, who didn't have any information on her whereabouts. Officials did learn that the woman may have struggled with mental health, the press release said.
On May 2, a sheriff's sergeant returned to the area, along with representatives of a nonprofit aerial search organization, using a drone to try and find out what happened to the woman.
On one of the first passes, the drone crashed, and while hiking up into the hills to retrieve the device, the sergeant and the drone pilot came across a tent, and found the woman they were looking for inside.
"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," Sgt. Spencer Cannon told Fox 13. "We were quite relieved and happy that she was still alive."
The woman had lost a lot of weight and was weak, but officials said she was "resourceful," according to the press release.
She had a "small amount of food with her" and told officials that she foraged for grass and moss to subsist on, while having access to drinking water from a nearby river. Officials now believe that the woman moved into the park by choice.
"Because of the woman's condition, and information in their discussion with her, Deputies took her to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation," according to the sheriff's office statement.
However, officials stressed that "while many people might choose to not live in the circumstances and conditions this woman did, she did nothing against the law."
They said the woman may choose to return to the same area and they will make resources available to her "should she decide to use them."
"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," Sgt. Cannon told Fox 13.
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