A Huntington Beach woman, Sheryl Powell, who vanished four days ago while camping with her husband in Inyo County has been found alive, officials said on Monday afternoon.
Rescuers described her as “resilient and strong but exhausted after being lost in an extremely remote area” within the national forest east of Bishop, authorities said.
Sheryl Powell, 60, disappeared near the Grandview Campground in the Bristlecone Pine Forest area of Inyo National Forest, about 275 miles north of Los Angeles, around 2 p.m. on Friday July 12 after taking the family dog, Miley, for a bathroom break while her husband moved their Jeep, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.
Joseph Powell searched for an hour before notifying officers of his wife’s disappearance through his satellite device.
Inyo Search and Rescue and the Inyo Sheriff’s Department began an immediate search of the area after receiving the notification, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said.
Aerial search equipped to detect thermal imaging was provided by CHP-Inland Division Air Operations, Inyo County Sheriff’s added. Ground searches were provided by Inyo Search and Rescue (SAR), Mono SAR, and China Lake Mountain Rescue Group.
“My parents have an extremely loving relationship and my dad (who has refused to leave the campsite) is on the verge of breakdown,” said son Greg Powell in a Facebook post, Saturday.
Just two and a half hours before, search crews announced they had found Powell’s 4-pound Yorkie-poo about 2 and a half miles from where she disappeared.
It was then reported that Powell was found alive by ground search team members near the Montenegro Springs area, which is below where her dog was located earlier.
She was taken to an airport where an ambulance took her to a local hospital for medical clearance, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Prior to Sheryl Powell being found, her son believed she may have been the victim of an abduction.
Greg said he believes she was threatened by someone, which led her to run down the hill where she got lost. He had said police were “refusing to acknowledge” the possibility, stating that she might have gotten lost during a hike or she might have been led offsite looking for her runaway dog.
Greg Powell had said the helicopter would stop searching for his mother if she was not located in two days and he created a GoFundMe page to raise money to continue chartering the helicopter in case she was not found before then.
If she was found, as was the case Monday, Greg Powell said he would refund the proceeds.
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carma Roper said investigators have determined the husband was not connected to his wife’s disappearance, NBCLosAngles reported.
It’s still unclear how the woman gotlost while near her campsite. Officials described Powell as an experienced hiker, according to KTLA5.