Woman who vanished in Utah County in Nov. 2020 found living in tent in Spanish Fork Canyon

Searchers say a woman missing in Utah County since November 2020 was found living in a tent in Spanish Fork Canyon. Photo: Utah County Sheriff's Office

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, May 3, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) —  A 47-year-old woman who vanished in November 2020 has been found living in a tent in a remote mountain area of Spanish Fork Canyon.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Spencer Cannon said the woman’s primitive camp site in the Diamond Fork area was discovered accidentally May 2 by two men looking for a drone they had crashed while searching for the missing woman earlier in the day.

According to Cannon, when the searchers, a sergeant with Utah County sheriff’s office, and a drone operator from a nonprofit aerial search organization, walked into the hills “they found a tent that they believed was abandoned. About then the zipper of the tent opened and there was the woman SAR officials searched for in December 2020.”

Cannon said the woman had lost “a significant amount of weight and was weak.”

The woman did have “a small amount of food” with her, and an “ample supply of water in a nearby river'” Cannon said. “She also he told SAR officials she “foraged for grass and moss to subsist.”

Cannon also said after talking with the woman the searchers came to “believe she knowingly chose to remain in the area over the months since November 2020.

The missing woman first came to law enforcement’s attention back on Nov. 25, 2020 when a car loaded with camping equipment was discovered in a parking lot of a U.S. Forest Service campground in the Diamond Fork area. “They also found information that identified the person who was camping there,” Cannon said.

Photo: Utah County Sheriff’s Office

Searchers from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office combed the area on foot, and in the air, but found no further signs of the missing woman.

Over the next several months efforts were made to contact her family, without success.

“Detectives did make contact with this woman’s former co-workers but they did not get any information that suggested where this woman might be,” Cannon said. “They did, however, find information that suggested this woman might struggle with mental health challenges.”

Authorities also had information suggesting she had moved to Colorado, but those early leads went nowhere.

Once she was found, “because of the woman’s condition, deputies took her to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation,” Cannon said. “But we want to be clear, that while many people might choose to not live in the circumstances and conditions this woman did, she did nothing against the law. And in the future she might choose to return to the same area.”

Additional resources were made available to the woman should she decide to use them.” Cannon said.

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