Woman missing six days in California forest survives on yogurt

This post first appeared on San Gabriel Valley Tribune - California News on . You can read the original article here.

A woman who was stranded in a remote area of Lassen County was rescued after six days, during which she survived on yogurt and snow.

Sheena Gullett, 52, was found Wednesday in the forest south of the community of Little Valley, the Lassen County sheriff’s department said.

On Thursday, April 14, she and Justin Lonich, 48, who live in Little Valley, had been driving there on forest roads north of Highway 44 when their vehicle became stuck in the snow. They spent the night in the car, and the next morning, it wouldn’t start.

Both began walking south toward the highway; Gullett fell behind when the soles of her boots started coming off. When Lonich realized they were separated, he said, he turned back but could not find her.

In heavy snowfall, he spent the next two nights in makeshift shelters as he made his way south. On Sunday, April 17, he reached Highway 44 and got a ride into Susanville, where he reported Gullett missing.

The sheriff’s report said deputies found it hard to narrow down a search area because Lonich was not familiar with the roads they had been traveling on. For two days, ground searches were carried out by the sheriff’s office and Forest Service staffers; the California Highway Patrol also searched from a helicopter on the one day it was clear.

On Wednesday, Lonich rode along with a sheriff’s deputy to try to spot landmarks. Around 3 p.m., a sheriff’s sergeant found the pair’s vehicle in a heavily wooded area — and Gullett emerged immediately. “She was very emotional, but physically okay,” the report said.

She told her rescuers she had returned to the vehicle upon becoming separated from Lonich and had spent the six days there. She said she ate snow for water and rationed a six-pack of yogurt, eating one per day.

She said she saw the CHP helicopter fly over, but they could not see her car because of the trees.