Rescuers find missing 91-year-old Josephine County woman who spent hours lost in the woods

Photos courtesy Illinois Valley Fire District / Facebook

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office and other agencies were able to a reach a 91-year-old woman who got lost in the woods on Sunday.

Posted: Feb 8, 2021 3:05 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2021 3:08 PM

O'BRIEN, Ore. — Rescuers from multiple agencies were able to find a 91-year-old woman who spent hours lost in the woods in the O'Brien area on Sunday, according to the Josephine County Sheriff's Office.

Shortly after 2 p.m. on Sunday, the Sheriff's Office says that it received a report of the missing woman. Her son reported that he was out cutting firewood on their wooded rural property while his mother waited in the truck. When he returned to the truck, she was gone.

"The caller believed she was lost and was unable to locate her after searching on his own," the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies and crews from the Illinois Valley Fire Department responded to the area to begin searching, but did not immediately locate the woman. The Josephine County Search & Rescue team was activated and brought in two K-9 teams to help with the search.

About an hour later, the son found that his mother had been trying to call him, leaving several messages on his phone. On the remote property, cell service was extremely limited.

"In her messages, the missing person stated she was lost and walking along a creek," the Sheriff's Office said.

Dispatchers worked to ping the woman's cell phone, finally getting coordinates from her phone around 5:45 p.m.

At 6:15 p.m., an SAR team spotted the woman near the area provided by the coordinates. She was standing on a small island in the middle of a creek.

"She was cold and wet but in good spirits," the Sheriff's Office continued. "It appeared she walked along the creek for almost a mile before stopping."

Though they had found her, it took two efforts from all the agencies involved to get her out of the rugged wooded terrain. She was evaluated by AMR paramedics, but did not want to be taken to the hospital. The Sheriff's Office said that she was reunited with her son.

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