A Teen Ran Out Of Gas, Disappeared; She Was Found Alive 8 Days Later

Monday, August 3rd 2020, 9:55 am
By: CBS News

A Washington state woman was found alive eight days after she went missing in a wooded area, authorities said. Gia Fuda, 18, of Maple Valley was located by search and rescue crews in the Cascade foothills Saturday afternoon, CBS affiliate KIRO-TV reported.

Fuda was in stable condition in a Monroe hospital Sunday afternoon and deputies had not yet spoken with her, said Sgt. Ryan Abbott of the King County Sheriff's Office. Rescuers found Fuda sitting on a rock next to a creek in a steep, wooded ravine about 1.2 miles from her car, which was parked 10 miles east of Skykomish.

The 18-year-old drank from the creek and ate berries, hunkered down at night and looked for places to find help, KIRO reported.

"Thank God there was a creek up there because that's where she stayed cool. She said the trees kept her cool," her mother Kristin Fuda said.

Fuda apparently became lost while searching for gas for her car, Abbott said. She was unable to immediately speak at length to the rescuers, he said.

"All she said was, 'I don't know where I am,'" Abbott said. "She hadn't eaten in so long that she wasn't making a lot of sense, so we just rushed her off to the hospital to get her some treatment."

Search and rescue teams used helicopters and Bloodhound dogs to search the area for days. The dogs tracked her scent 1.75 miles west from her vehicle, but then "for some reason she turned into the woods," Abbott said.

Rescuers found Fuda's car keys, some clothing and a Bible along the creek before a mountain rescue team ultimately located her.

"Miracles do happen," Abbott said.