INYO COUNTY (CBSLA) — A 60-year-old Huntington Beach camper reported missing in Inyo County has been found safe, authorities said Monday.
Sheryl Powell and her dog disappeared Friday around 2 p.m. at Grandview Campground. According to the family, Powell got out of the family’s car with her small dog to use the restroom in a bush while her husband backed their vehicle into their campsite.
The family said that while Powell was alone with her small dog, a knife-wielding man tried to chase her down. She got away from him but got lost off trail.
“We knew people were there,” Powell’s son, Greg, said. “So we kept stressing that we thought this was abnormal and it turns out it was. She didn’t just get lost.”
Her family said Powell hid through the weekend, avoiding roads to stay clear of the attacker, which in turn, made it hard for rescuers to find her.
“She found an area that had a lot of greenery,” Powell’s daughter, Farrah, said. “It was the only area with some water nearby, and she was drinking stagnate water and eating cactus fruit.”
According to her family, she used bags meant for her dog’s waste to keep her hands and feet warm at night.
It took search and rescue teams four days to find Powell who was a couple miles away from the campsite, and near where her dog was found earlier. Her family says she was very weak surviving off little food and water.
“What a crazy roller coaster of emotions,” Farrah said. “It was the lowest of lows and then to the highest of highs.
The family had previously set up a go fund me account where thousands of dollars had been raised. They said they planned to give all the money back to those who donated, and were so thankful for everyone who helped find their mother.
The family released a photo of Powell smiling in a hospital bed.