UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A woman was found alive in Diamond Fork Canyon on Monday after she was reported missing for five months.
On November 25, 2020, US Forest Service Officials found a car in the parking lot of a campground in the Diamond Fork Area of Spanish Fork Canyon.
Along with the car, officials found camping equipment and information that lead them to identify the person who was camping there.
A search of the area was then performed by Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) detectives and a Search and Rescue team, but no one was found.
Police had telephone information that led investigators to believe she could be in Colorado, a press release from UCSO said.
The UCSO then impounded the woman’s car and camping equipment, as UCSO believed they were abandoned.
Over the next several months, UCSO attempted to identify and contact the woman’s family, but they were unsuccessful.
Deputies then contacted the woman’s coworkers and received information that suggested she struggled with her mental health, UCSO said in a press release.
Then, on May 2, a UCSO Sergeant returned to Diamond Fork with a nonprofit aerial search organization in an attempt to find evidence that suggested the woman still might be in the area.
The aerial search organization deployed a drone to search for evidence, but the drone crashed. The UCSO and drone pilot then set out to search for the drone.
As they searched for the drone, UCSO said that the sergeant and drone pilot spotted a tent nearby.
According to a news release, at that moment, the zipper of the tent opened and the 47-year-old woman who had been missing since November of 2020 appeared.
UCSO said the woman had willingly chosen to remain in the area since November 2020. The woman told Search and Rescue Officials that she foraged for moss and grass to survive and had access to water supply via a nearby river, a news release said.
After the woman was found, Deputies took her to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.
In a news release, the UCSO stressed that the woman did not break the law, saying “But we want to be clear that while many people might choose to not live in the circumstances and conditions this woman did, she did nothing against the law. And in the future, she might choose to return to the same area.”
The UCSO said resources were made available to the woman if she decided to use them.