Valdosta Daily Times

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July 16, 2010

Missing woman found alive

LAKELAND — A woman reported missing late on Thursday night was found a little more than nine hours later walking out of some woods around the Alapaha River.

Lanier County Sheriff Nick Norton noted that the 26-year-old woman, a resident of Bellview in Miller County, was last seen by her family around 6 p.m. on Thursday when she went to a store to buy some ibuprofen.  

“We received the call about her missing just after 10 p.m.,” he said.

Lanier County authorities acted quickly after her family informed them of her medical history, said Norton.

Details of the woman’s medical history were not released due to federal privacy laws.

“The 911 dispatcher was able to track a signal from the woman’s cell phone, and we searched that area,” he added.

Norton said that the woman’s vehicle was found parked under the Alapaha bridge.

Citizens in the area worked alongside the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office, Lowndes County Fire and Rescue, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Lakeland Fire Department, Georgia Department of Natural

Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division and Georgia Department of Corrections to search the woods, as well as the Alapaha River for the missing woman.

“We wanted to eliminate the chance that she was in the river,” Norton added.

The search went on through the night and early morning hours Friday, and at approximately 7:30 a.m., the woman walked out of some woods east of the Alapaha River at Highway 37.

“She had visible cuts, bruises and mosquito bites from being in the woods all night,” Norton said.

Other than that, he said the woman was virtually unharmed.

Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived on the scene and transported the woman to South Georgia Medical Center for treatment.

“We had a lot of people looking for her,” Norton continued. “Everyone did a great job and should be commended for their efforts.”

No other details were known at press time.

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