A missing teenager in Washington who disappeared last month after she ran out of gas was found alive Saturday in a remote part of the cascade mountains, authorities said.
He spoke to reporters and said King County Sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Abbott said it was a “miracle” that Giovanna Fuda, 18, was found after a week-long search.
“She is in stable condition,” he said. “This is a remarkable ending.”
Fuda was last seen on July 24 when she left her home in the Seattle suburb of Maple Valley without telling her parents where she was going. Her car was found abandoned the next night near a mountain pass about two hours northeast of Maple Valley.
“We do not know why she was up there,” her father, Bob Fuda, told NBC-affiliated KING last week.
Authorities said the car, a 2008 Toyota Corolla, ran out of gas. Her purse was still in the vehicle but her mobile phone was gone. The King County Sheriff’s Office originally described her disappearance as “suspicious.”
Abbott said the area was a dead zone for cell services so it was difficult to track her location through her phone’s GPS. Dense brushing also made it impossible to search with a helicopter, he said.
On Saturday, after a bloodhound tracked her scent more than a mile along the highway, a search and rescue team wandered up a ravine and after a creek found her notebook, shoes and clothes, Abbott said. They eventually also found her a few miles from her car, he said. She was awake and conscious but incoherent.
“We do not know how she got up in that area,” he said, adding that she may have turned around when she went to get gas. He said she probably survived by drinking water from the creek, but she had no food with her and he was not sure what she ate.
A family friend involved in the search, Jeff White, told KING that Saturday was the last day of the rescue operation.