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Woman missing since November found living in tent

Utah County Sheriff

SPANISH FORK CANYON, Utah — A woman who’s been missing since November was found alive, and living in a tent in the Diamond Fork area.

Forest Service officials found the car in November at a campground in the Diamond Fork area of Spanish Fork Canyon. But they couldn’t find the owner of the car. Utah County Sheriff’s deputies investigated and searched for an extended period of time.

“We believed at that time that the woman had abandoned her car and camping equipment nearby,” said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt Spencer Cannon.

Crews went back over the area by air over the last few months. Then, with the help of an aerial drone company, they went up again on Sunday. The drone crashed so they went looking for it. On their way in, they found a tent.

 

“As they were standing there, the zipper on the tent opened, and this woman stuck her head out,” said Sgt Cannon. “After talking to her, we believe she has been there all winter.”

He says she survived by eating grasses and moss, and eating leftover food when other campers left the area. She also used a water source nearby.

But she was in rough condition and had lost a lot of weight and was pretty weak.

Cannon says they took her to the hospital and she also had a mental health evaluation while there.

“At this point, it does appear she chose voluntarily to be there,” he said. “That is a choice people can make even if it doesn’t seem rational.”

Whether she accepts services they offer from this point is up to her, he said.

He said they were quite surprised after looking for her last fall, because they’ve had other cases where the outcome is more tragic.

He says she must have survived with her own resourcefulness. Temperatures in the wintertime in that area can get below zero and it was a tough existence.

They are not identifying her at this point, but say she is 47 years old, and had been living in the Salt Lake County area before last November.


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