FRESNO COUNTY, CA (NBC) – A 62-year-old woman who vanished while hiking in California was found alive Saturday — more than a week after she was separated from the group she was traveling with, police said.
Miyuki Harwood was spotted by members of a search and rescue team not far from where she went missing near the Courtright Reservoir, about 100 miles east of Fresno, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said Harwood was hurt, but they do not yet know the extent of her injuries. She was brought by helicopter to a nearby hospital, police said.
Harwood was last seen on Aug. 20 with a hiking group from the Sierra Club, based near Sacramento. She did not know any of the people she was hiking with, but her family told police that she was an experienced hiker.
Several local agencies, the California Office of Emergency Services and the California National Guard were involved in the aerial and land search for Harwood. More than 60 search and rescue crew members were aided by dogs and drones, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said.
The search was initially hampered by smoke from a wildfire, called the Rough Fire, which began July 31 and was burning about 10 miles away from the search area. Officials also worried that the smoke would debilitate Harwood as rescuers scrambled to find her.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office warned that hikers should “not push the limits, which put you in a dangerous situation.”