Paula Beth James missing 68 year old Oroville, Butte County woman with dementia found alive. Found inside snow covered car where she’d been for last 6 days.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that around noon, a sheriff’s helicopter searching the area near the Butte Meadows spotted a vehicle matching the description of an SUV owned by Paula Beth James, 68. After the pilot landed the helicopter, two officers hiked to the vehicle and found James inside, alive.
‘She was awake and conscious. And she looked at them and she said, ‘I’m very cold, I hope you brought a blanket,’’ Butte County Sheriff spokesperson Megan McMann told FOX40.
James, of Oroville, was last seen on Jan. 9 at her home. Officials said she has dementia and can become disoriented.
‘We thought she was probably dead …’
A silver alert had been issued for James after she was reported missing, but family members said after six days had braced for the worst.
‘This morning, we thought she was probably dead,’ James’ stepdaughter, Laura Powell told fox40.
James was found about 200 miles northeast of San Francisco and around 50 miles north of her home. Her vehicle was about 150 yards off the roadway covered in snow, according to the sheriff’s office,
It remained unclear how the missing woman ended up there.
Authorities had expressed concern had temperatures continued dipping and that a couple of more days passed, the outcome could have been very different than Wednesday’s miracle recovery of the missing Oroville woman.
A vehicle designed for traveling on snow was sent to get James and transport her to paramedics. She was taken to a hospital and was last listed as stable.
James was described as having frostbite and was severely dehydrated. She managed to stay warm by turning on her car for heat periodically, in addition to using blankets and floor mats in the SUV.
Officials said that rescue crews spent over 100 hours searching for the missing woman.
Family members said Wednesday they were grateful for those who went ‘above and beyond’ to find James.
‘I just am so thankful for the relief that everyone is going to have tonight knowing that she’s safe and warm and fed and we’ll get to bring her home soon,’ Powell said.