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Missing Hiker Paula Reuter Rescued After Three Days in Washington Mountains

Paul Reuter, 21, was found alive in Washington state after three days in the wilderness.

A stranded hiker survived on mushrooms and bark for three days until smoke signals led to her rescue in a Washington state mountain range late Thursday. Paula Reuter had set out for an 11-mile hike near Snoqualmie Pass with her two dogs Monday morning but lost track of the trail, she told NBC News affiliate King 5. The King's County Sheriff's Office began searching for Reuter on Wednesday. The 21-year-old hiker said she spent two days trying to rediscover the trail, but on Wednesday decided to stay put and ignite a smoke signal. "I had seen the helicopter and I had my smoke signals out," Reuter told King 5. "I knew something was going to happen."

A King's County Search and Rescue helicopter spotted Reuter on Thursday and rescued her, according to a tweet from the department. The King's County Sheriff's office said Reuter survived on mushrooms, and Reuter said she also ate bark because she wanted to reserve the beef jerky she had for her dogs, who also ate frogs and rabbit.


— Elisha Fieldstadt