“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. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office
The 47-year-old Utah County woman, whose identity is being withheld, first reported missing after a U.S. Forest Service employee noticed her vehicle in the trailhead parking lot on November 25, 2020, was found living in a tent in a campsite area near the Dry Canyon Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon on Sunday afternoon after being sought after for more than five months. FOX 13 reports two weeks after her vehicle was initially discovered, Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputies, search and rescue volunteers and a fixed-wing aircraft went back to the area to search for her.
“We didn’t have immediate reason to believe that she was in danger; we just didn’t know what her status was. All we had was her car down here in this parking lot, some of her personal items in that car and the campsite up here — all of which had appeared to have been unused for an extended period of time and no evidence that she was still here.” –Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office
SAR members searched the area a number of times over the winter. She remained missing until this past weekend when there was an unexpected discovery in the area. On Sunday, a sheriff’s sergeant and drone pilot were scanning nearby the trailhead location for any indication she might be alive:
Just before 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, the sergeant called in to dispatch that they had located the woman:
“We’ve had a missing person all winter, I just found her alive in Diamond Fork, kind of worried about her health condition, lack of food and water.”
According to authorities the woman was in rough shape. She still had some food that she rationed but mostly relied on a diet of grass and moss. She drank from a nearby stream. She was transported to Utah Valley Hospital for evaluation, but her condition since is not known. Based on initial evaluation, those with the sheriff’s office believe that the woman is suffering from some sort of a mental illness.
“I have to be honest, 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. We were quite relieved and happy that she was still alive.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.