SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — A Utah woman who disappeared in November was discovered alive Sunday in a tent at a campsite near Provo, Utah County officials said.
The 47-year-old woman, who authorities did not identify, was first reported missing after a U.S. Forest Service employee found her car abandoned in a trailhead parking lot about 50 miles southeast of Salt Lake City on Nov. 25, 2020.
According to Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon, authorities found her during an aerial search of the area on Sunday afternoon, which they conducted alongside volunteers in hopes of finding evidence she was still alive. While looking for a drone that crashed during the search, the sergeant and drone pilot came upon a tent, which the woman unzipped as they approached.
Cannon said the woman had no physical injuries besides being weak and underweight, having reportedly subsisted off of grass, moss, and water from a nearby river for more than five months.
“Regardless of the fact that she was able to survive, it was a tough existence for those months that she was up there and we’re glad we were able to make contact with her,” Cannon said.
After the discovery, officials took the woman to the hospital for evaluation. The investigation into her disappearance revealed she may have struggled with mental health challenges and chose to stay in the area for several months, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.