Missing California camper found alive after being lost four days

Sheryl Powell, 60, disappeared Friday while walking her dog at a campsite near the California-Nevada border. Both Powell and the dog were found alive.

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By Ben Kesslen and Doha Madani

A woman who went missing at a campsite near the California-Nevada border was found alive Monday after four days of intense searching through rough and remote terrain.

Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, California, was reported missing by her husband Friday afternoon at the Grandview Campsite near Bishop, California, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office. Powell’s husband, Joe, said his wife and their dog went missing while he was moving their car, and called the police through a satellite phone after searching for her for an hour.

Sheryl Powell in an undated photo provided by the Inyo County Sheriff's Office on July 14, 2019.Inyo County Sheriff's Office

Police began searching with aerial assistance and thermal imaging. The search then expanded throughout the weekend with help from multiple different police departments.

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"Challenges include multiple gullies, shale slopes, low shade, direct sun, and rattlesnakes," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Authorities said Sheryl Powell was found alive by a search team near the Montenegro Springs area, not far from where her dog was found earlier Monday.

"Searchers describe her as resilient and strong but exhausted after being lost in an extremely remote area above Big Pine, California," the sheriff's office said. "Mrs. Powell was met at the Bishop Airport by ambulance and will be taken to the local hospital for medical clearance."

Joe Powell said he was gone for no more than seven minutes to move his car when his wife went missing and began to suspect foul play as the search stretched on.

"I came back over here and she was gone," he said Sunday. "The only plausible explanation in my opinion is she was abducted."

Joe Powell said he and his wife are experienced hikers, and that the two hike more than 24 miles a week.

Greg Powell, the couple's son, said his parents have been happily married for 42 years. "I think the last time they got in a fight, I was like 9 or 10 years old," he said.

“My mom is the strongest and most incredible woman I know,” the couple's daughter, Farrah, wrote on Facebook.