US: Hiker found after going missing with small dog for days 'just thankful to be alive' - PressFrom - US
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USHiker found after going missing with small dog for days 'just thankful to be alive'

15:41  16 july  2019
15:41  16 july  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Hiker found after going missing with small dog for days 'just thankful to be alive'© Courtesy Powell Family Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, is surrounded by her family in a hospital on July 15, 2019, after going missing for four days in California.

A missing hiker who was found alive Monday, days after she vanished in a remote area of California where she says she fled from a knife-wielding man, tells ABC News she's "thankful" to be home and reunited with her loved ones.

Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, California, and her husband, along with their small dog, arrived at the Grandview Campground in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest area of the Inyo National Forest on Friday afternoon for a weekend camping trip. Sheryl Powell said she decided to take the dog for a walk and briefly explore the wilderness around them while her husband, Joseph Powell, parked their vehicle.

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Sheryl Powell, 60, vanished with her small dog after taking out the pet while her husband moved their Jeep near a remote campsite in the Bristlecone Pine "They keep insisting she just got lost ( she didn’t bring any food or water and had no plans to hike yet, they were just setting up camp) or the dog got

"Miley, my dog, and I went off together and never quite made it back as soon as I thought," Sheryl Powell told ABC News' Amy Robach in an interview with her family, which aired Tuesday on "Good Morning America."

Suddenly, a man with a knife emerged from behind a tree and threatened Powell and her dog, she said.

"He had been observing me and it was scary," she told ABC News. "If we made noise, if we yelled out, he was going to use [the knife] on us."

(MORE: California hiker who disappeared with small dog found alive)

Powell said she tried to be compliant until she had a chance to flee.

"I took off with my dog and we just ran in a different direction than I knew my husband was, because the guy was between me and my husband, so I went the other way," she said. "I did what I had to."

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Powell said she ran as fast as she could until she was certain the man wasn't following her.

"I just realized I wasn't sure where I was because I had been running out of fear," she added.

Hiker found after going missing with small dog for days 'just thankful to be alive'© Inyo County Sheriffs Office/Facebook Missing camper, Sheryl Powell, is shown in this photo posted to the Facebook account of Inyo County Sheriff's Office.

Joseph Powell said he started to become concerned as the minutes passed and his wife didn't return. He screamed her name and desperately searched the wilderness around their campsite for 45 minutes until alerting authorities.

"I realized something was seriously wrong," he told ABC News. "There's no words to describe the horror I went through looking for her."

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The Inyo County Sheriff's Office launched a search in the area for Powell and her dog. They spent four days combing through the mountainous terrain.

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"Every day that went on got harder and harder," the couple's daughter, Farrah, told ABC News. "Each day, our hope was kind of dwindling and we tried to stay strong, but it was a very concerning situation."

"It was definitely the lowest point we'd been," the couple's son, Greg, added. "It was just very scary for us."

Hiker found after going missing with small dog for days 'just thankful to be alive'© Courtesy Powell Family Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, is surrounded by her family in a hospital on July 15, 2019, after going missing for four days in California.

On Monday morning, a ground search team found the family's dog alive, about 2.5 miles from Powell's last known location, according to the Inyo County Sheriff's Office. Miley had somehow gotten loose from her leash and was barking, leading searchers to her location, the family said.

Powell was found soon after near the Montenegro Springs area of Inyo County. The searchers described Powell as being "resilient and strong but exhausted after being lost in an extremely remote area above Big Pine," the sheriff's office said.

She was transported to a local hospital for medical clearance, and now, the woman and her dog are both doing well, despite their ordeal.

'I'm going to use this knife': Hiker says she got lost in Calif. wilderness fleeing attacker

'I'm going to use this knife': Hiker says she got lost in Calif. wilderness fleeing attacker Sheryl Powell, an experienced hiker, said a "burly" man confronted her while she was taking a bathroom break. According to Powell, the man said, "The first thing that's going to happen here, I'm going to use this knife on the dog, and then if you don't let me have my way with you, I'll use it on you." Powell told NBC's "Today" on Tuesday morning that she was scared and acted "docile" in front of the man. But when she found the right moment, she ran away with her dog. "He was pursuing me," Powell said, but after the first day, she was mostly focused on staying alive.

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- Crews found a Southern California woman and her dog after a four- day search Monday. Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach It was then reported that Powell was found alive by ground search team members near the Montenegro Springs area, which is below where her dog was located earlier.

"It's really strange and beautiful how that worked out, that Miley potentially was the savior here," Joseph Powell told ABC News.

(MORE: 'I chose life,' Yoga teacher says after dramatic rescue from Hawaii forest)

While stranded in the wilderness, Powell managed to find water to drink, ate a cactus and hiked at night to avoid getting dehydrated, her family told ABC News.

Powell said she remained focused on taking care of Miley and trying to get back to her family.

"I'm just thankful to be alive and back with my family," she told ABC News. "I knew my husband was there waiting for me. So I was always determined to get back as soon as I could. I didn't know it would be four days."

ABC News' Enjoli Francis, Cassidy Gard, Sabina Ghebremedhin, Jennifer Harrison and Alyssa Pone contributed to this report.

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