MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. – An 87-year-old woman missing since Sunday morning has been found alive.
Camille Humphrey was missing after walking away from a vehicle Sunday night in the Arizona Strip District of the Bureau of Land Management.
After an extensive search on the ground and from the air, Humphrey was found at 1:50 p.m. Tuesday.
“It’s a miracle that she’s alive,” Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Trish Carter said.
Humphrey was taken by helicopter to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. As this report is published, her condition was not immediately released.
Arizona Game and Fish officers came across a vehicle stuck in the mud several miles south of St. George at about 2 p.m. Monday, Trish Carter said in a media statement.
One woman was still in the vehicle and told officers that her 87-year-old friend walked away from the vehicle to get help Sunday evening about 6 p.m.
Mohave County Search and Rescue units responded to the area and performed a ground search and a Life Flight helicopter from St. George helped with an aerial search, Carter said. The search continued into Tuesday afternoon when Humphrey was found.
“We had people out there through the night – we had helicopters,” Carter said.
Humphrey was found about 25-30 miles south of St. George, south of BLM Road 101 and west of County Road 5 in the Wolf Hole area, said Rachel Carnahan, public affairs specialist with the BLM’s Arizona Strip District Field Office.
Humphrey’s grandson, Jason Widup, said Humphrey and her friend did not have a mobile phone with them in an email to the St. George News.
“After exhausting the gas left in the car, our grandmother decided to try and walk and find help. That’s the last time she was seen – Sunday evening,” Widup said.
Sara Burch is a friend of Humphrey’s and a caretaker for Humphrey’s friend. She said Humphrey and her friend, who is also in her 80s, were going for a drive and ended up getting stuck in the mud sometime before noon Sunday. The pair ran out of gas trying to get the vehicle unstuck, Burch said.
The two were just going for a little ride, Burch said, to grab a milkshake and go for a drive. They were driving by the new airport and somehow took a wrong turn or thought they were taking a shortcut.
After being unable to locate Humphrey and her friend and contacting Humphrey’s family, Burch placed a missing persons call to the police. Burch is a close friend of Humphrey.
BLM Law Enforcement Ranger Curtis Racker, of the St. George Field Office, helped with the search Monday afternoon from around 4 p.m. until midnight. Racker and a couple of other rangers were searching near Wolf Hole Valley, he said.
Arizona Game and Fish was the initial contact and there was a BLM ranger working in the general area who went to help. When Racker heard them talking on the radio, he went out to help.
It’s important for people who get lost or stuck in the backcountry to stay with their vehicle, Racker said.
“It’s so much easier to find a vehicle than to find a person out walking in the desert.”
St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.
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