68-year-old woman with dementia missing for 6 days found alive in snow-covered car

The woman's SUV was spotted from a helicopter in the search mission.
Image: Paula Beth James
Rescuers from Butte County, California located Paula Beth James Wednesday after she was missing for six days.Butte County Sheriff's Office

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By Ben Kesslen

A woman suffering from dementia who was missing for six days in Northern California was found alive on Wednesday in her snow-covered vehicle.

Paula Beth James, 68, was rescued after the Butte County Sheriff's Office spotted her car from a helicopter.

Paula Beth James, 68, suffers from dementia. She was located about three miles from Bambi Inn in Butte Meadows.Butte Sheriff

Her Toyota SUV was about 150 yards off the road in Butte Meadows, a rural area about 200 miles northeast of San Francisco, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The pilot landed the helicopter near James' vehicle, and was met by rescuers on Sno-Cats, who found her alive in the car and took her to a paramedics' staging area.

James was taken to a hospital and is in stable condition, police said Wednesday.

Photos of the rescue mission show the SUV in a snow-covered rural field surrounded by trees. Police believe James may have become disoriented due to her dementia. The sheriff's office said the search-and-rescue operation took more than 100 hours.

"We are all grateful for this fortunate outcome and wish her a speedy recovery," the sheriff's office wrote.