A Huntington Beach woman on a camping trip near the California-Nevada border who had been missing since Friday afternoon has been found alive, authorities and family members said Monday.
“Missing hiker, Sheryl Powell was located alive by ground search team members near the Montenegro Springs area (below where her dog was located earlier today),” the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page. “Searchers describe her as resilient and strong but exhausted after being lost in an extremely remote area above Big Pine, CA.”
Powell’s husband and children posed with the found camper at a hospital and shared the photo with NBCLA Monday. Powell’s son told NBCLA that his mother “was chased down a hill by a man with a knife.”
The search for a Huntington Beach woman, who was reported missing in a camping area in the Bristlecone Pine Forest area near the California-Nevada border appeared to have turned up the woman’s dog earlier in the day, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said.
A dog matching the description of the pet that was with the missing camper was found about 2 1/2 miles from her last known location, as the search on the ground and by air continued until Powell, 60, was located.
Powell and the dog, Miley, vanished near the Grandview Campground, about 275 miles north of Los Angeles, around 2 p.m. while husband Joseph Powell repositioned their Jeep, a task, family members said, that only took five minutes. Her husband said when he returned, his wife and their 5-pound black and white Yorkipoo dog were gone.
Powell was described as an experienced hiker by the Inyo County Sheriff’s office said.
Joseph Powell searched for an hour before notifying officers of his wife’s disappearance through his satellite device.
“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.
Greg Powell had said there were no traces of his mother except for the footprints she left at the campground.
Prior to Sheryl Powell being found, her son believed she may have been the victim of an abduction. 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 previously had said neither scenario was likely.
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carma Roper said investigators have determined the husband was not connected to his wife’s disappearance.
Inyo Search and Rescue and the Inyo Sheriff’s Department began an immediate search of the area after receiving the notification on July 12, 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 SAR, Mono SAR and China Lake Mountain Rescue Group.
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.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s asked that anyone with information about the missing camper contact them at 760-878-0383.