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A woman who went missing nearly 6 months ago was found living in a national forest in Utah, subsisting off grass and moss

May 5, 2021, 18:05 IST
Diamond Fork Canyon in Utah.iStock / Getty Images Plus
  • 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.

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, 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.


Officials conducted an initial search by ground and air but couldn't find any sign of the woman, the press release said. Believing she may have abandoned the car, they impounded it.

The missing woman's tent is seen in this photo from Sunday.Utah County Sheriff's Office

Over the ensuing months, officials tried to identify and contact the woman's relatives, to no avail. They were able to contact former coworkers, who didn't have any information on her whereabouts.

Then on Sunday, a sheriff's sergeant returned to the area with representatives of a nonprofit aerial search organization, using a drone to try to 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," Sgt. Spencer Cannon told Fox 13, adding: "In situations like that, we often find somebody after they passed away. We were quite relieved and happy that she was still alive."

A look at the inside of the missing woman's tent.UCSO

The woman had lost a lot of weight and was weak, but the press release said she had appeared to be "resourceful."


She had a "small amount of food with her," the press release said, and told officials 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," the statement from the sheriff's office said.

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 might choose to return to the same area and they would make resources available to her "should she decide to use them."

"Our hats off to her as a survivor," Cannon told Fox 13. "Whatever else is going on in her life, her ability to survive in undoubtedly difficult circumstances is remarkable."

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