Woman with dementia who went missing for a week found alive in snow-stranded SUV
Jan. 16, 2020
A California woman with dementia who went missing for nearly a week was found alive in her SUV, stranded in the snow.
Paula Beth James, 68, was rescued Wednesday after a Butte County Sheriff's Office helicopter spotted a Toyota 4Runner SUV covered and stranded in snow in Butte Meadows, a remote rural area, according to a release from the Sheriff's Office.
James was last spotted Jan. 9 in her home in Oroville, 20 miles south of Paradise — the location of the Camp Fires — when she was reported missing, said the statement.
“Her tracks were covered in snow,” Dan Newman, a Butte County Search and Rescue captain, told KCRA-TV in Sacramento . “We knew if we were going to find her and find her alive, we were going to have to do it really quickly.”
After two sheriff's office employees hiked to the vehicle, about 150 yards off the road, they found her alive and in good spirits, KCRA reported. It remained unclear how long she was in the vehicle.
James was then transported to a local hospital, where she is currently in stable condition, per the release.
"We are all grateful for this fortunate outcome and wish her a speedy recovery," the Sheriff's Office wrote.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning in the area through Friday, cautioning drivers of gusty winds and heavy snow.
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