Missing 70-Year-Old Woman Got Lost on a Walk. She Was Found 2 Days Later — Thanks to a Piece of Clothing

Elizabeth Schenk was found about 200 yards away after the clothing was found, officials said

<p>Mendocino County Sheriff

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office

Elizabeth Schenk

A 70-year-old California woman who spent nearly three days and two nights lost in the wilderness has been found safe thanks to an article of clothing.

Authorities located Elizabeth Schenk in a heavily wooded area north of Fort Bragg at about 4 p.m. local time on Thursday, May 23, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Schenk was in “good spirits” after rescuers found her and had only suffered minor scratches and abrasions due to exposure. She was transported to a local hospital in stable condition, the sheriff’s office said.

Schenk, who is from Oakland and had been visiting the area, was reported missing on the morning of Tuesday, May 21, after she set out for a walk on a logging road and became lost. She called an unidentified man for help at around 9:30 a.m. and asked for directions, according to the sheriff’s office.

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When he still hadn’t heard from Schenk two hours later, the man became concerned and alerted authorities.

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Over the next 48 hours, more than 70 search and rescue volunteers from numerous counties around Northern California joined the search for Schenk, who was considered at risk due to several pre-existing medical conditions. Seven canines certified in scent trailing and unmanned aerial vehicles were also deployed in the area.

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Around mid-afternoon on May 23, searchers found a piece of clothing they believed belonged to Schenk, and she was located about 200 yards away, the sheriff’s office said.

The woman was taken to Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital as a precautionary measure, according to authorities.

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Searchers said the area where Schenk went missing has extremely steep topography with overgrown vegetation and forestation.

Due to the treacherous terrain and tough wilderness conditions, additional search and rescue aid was requested through the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said.

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