The woman who was found living in a national forest earlier this week reportedly told authorities she was in need of an escape.
While maintaining her anonymity, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News the woman had been living off the land in Diamond Fork for five months because she wanted “solitude and isolation.”
A press release issued Monday noted that the 47-year-old woman was reported missing by U.S. Forest Service officials in November after they spotted what appeared to be her abandoned car and camp gear in the Diamond Fork area of Spanish Fork Canyon.
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On May 2, a sheriff’s sergeant and drone pilot discovered the woman’s tent not far from where her car was seen.
“Her motivation was, in part, for solitude and isolation,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon told Fox News in an email.
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The woman was taken to a nearby medical center for a physical and mental health evaluation since it appeared she had lost a “considerable amount of weight” and was “weak.”
Despite having some mental health struggles, the woman was released a day later. She was provided food and “new items of equipment” that should help her survive the wilderness for a “little while,” according to Cannon.
It is not clear whether she will return to the area where she was found.
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Although the woman had struggled to find an adequate food supply over winter, Cannon commended her resourcefulness in foraging grass and moss.
Cannon added that the woman’s campsite was well maintained and organized. He also shared that the woman is “very intelligent” and “has held highly respected jobs.”
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“So while many of us would consider her way of living to be unsafe or unhealthy, she was quite resourceful,” Cannon wrote. “But, as I mentioned, despite her resourcefulness, she had allowed her condition to deteriorate significantly.”