Woman who disappeared in Utah canyon, found alive six months later by drone looking for her body

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Woman, 47, who disappeared in Utah canyon six months ago, is found in thin tent after drone crashed while searching for corpse: tells police she chose to move there and survived through moss and grass to eat

  • On Sunday, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office found a 47-year-old woman who had been missing alive in a tent since November last year while searching for her body with a drone.
  • She managed to survive despite the area having regular freezing temperatures in December and January
  • She ate supplies left in an abandoned tent she had moved into, and also survived on both moss and grass, while police said she was underweight
  • Last year around Thanksgiving, delegates ransacked the area and found an abandoned tent and camping equipment along with identifying information about the 47-year-old woman
  • The sheriff’s office was unable to contact the woman’s family and she was never reported missing
  • The woman’s colleagues told police they had no idea where she was and described her as ‘quiet’ and a ‘loner’
  • The Utah County Sheriff’s Office will not disclose the woman’s identity because of her suspected mental health issues

A woman who disappeared six months ago was found in a thin tent in a canyon after a drone searching for her corpse crashed into a nearby tree.

The unnamed 47-year-old told Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputies that she voluntarily moved to remote Diamond Ford Canyon after she was found on Sunday.

She said she survived by eating supplies found in the abandoned tent she moved into, as well as moss and grass, and was seriously underweight when found.

The woman survived temperatures that regularly hovered around freezing during the winter months, and says hikers also supplied her with supplies.

Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office told DailyMail.com how searchers left expecting to find the woman’s body.

The drone search was part of a semi-regular hunt for the missing woman, and resulted in her being found by pure luck when it crashed into a tree.

While recovering the drone, operated by a nonprofit organization working with police to find missing people, a sergeant and the drone operator spotted the woman’s tent.

The missing woman unzipped the zipper and stuck her head out.

Delegates searched Diamond Fork Canyon and found an abandoned tent, pictured last November, close to items that helped them identify the missing woman

Delegates searched Diamond Fork Canyon and found an abandoned tent, pictured last November, close to items that helped them identify the missing woman

The woman's abandoned red sedan was also found in a parking lot near the Dry Canyon Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon, and was later impounded.

The woman’s abandoned red sedan was also found in a parking lot near the Dry Canyon Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon, and was later impounded.

The Utah County Sheriff's Office found a 47-year-old woman who has been missing in the Dry Canyon Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon since November after a drone searching for her corpse crashed into a nearby tree.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office found a 47-year-old woman who has been missing in the Dry Canyon Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon since November after a drone searching for her corpse crashed into a nearby tree.

Authorities sent a medical team to the campsite and examined the woman who had lost significant weight and was weak.

Cannon says authorities were incredibly impressed with the woman’s survival instincts, especially in the harsh winter conditions.

“She was resilient and managed to survive the coldest months of the year, sometimes the temperature drops below zero,” he said. ‘She’s a wonderful woman. In my 30 years involved in search and rescue, I’ve never seen anything like it, ‘Cannon told DailyMail.com

Her disappearance was marked around Thanksgiving 2020, when a U.S. Forest Service official preparing for the canyon’s seasonal closures found the woman’s red sedan in a parking lot near the Dry Canyon Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon.

Delegates searched the area and found an abandoned tent, red and gray tent, and camping equipment, along with items identifying the missing woman.

The sheriff’s office was unable to contact the woman’s family and she was never reported missing.

Detectives were able to speak to the woman’s colleagues who told police they had no idea where she was or planned to stay and described her as ‘quiet’ and a ‘loner’. That led researchers to conclude that she had mental health problems,

The woman disappeared in Diamond Fork Canyon, pictured, where temperatures regularly hover around freezing during the winter months

The woman disappeared in Diamond Fork Canyon, pictured, where temperatures regularly hover around freezing during the winter months

This is the tent found last November that police believe belonged to the missing woman.  She was found on Sunday living in a second tent.

This is the tent found last November that police believe belonged to the missing woman. She was found on Sunday living in a second tent.

The woman told authorities that she lived in a tent where a motor home had been left and was found with small amounts of food.

She told officials she was foraged for grass and moss to survive and had access to water from a nearby river.

Sergeant Cannon told DailyMail.com that they will not disclose the woman’s identity due to her suspected mental health issues and because she has not committed any crimes.

The woman has willingly stayed in the area since November, and the sheriff’s office says that other than exceeding the Forest Service camping allowance, the woman has not broken any laws.

Cannon said the Sheriff Office doesn’t charge people for staying too long at campgrounds just for making a mess – but that the missing woman kept her campground tidy.

“The campground was very neat and well maintained,” he said. “unusual in that regard, criminally speaking, there was nothing that would have drawn our attention to her.”

He said that if in the future, if she chooses to return to the same area, she will be offered support to try to ensure that she remains in good health.

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