Giovanna ‘Gia’ Fuda missing Maple Valley, Washington state teen found alive after becoming lost in the woods after running out of gas. Friends & family feared the worst.
An 18 year old teenager who went missing for over a week in Washington state was found alive Saturday in the heavily wooded Cascade Mountains, just outside Seattle, authorities said.
Giovanna ‘Gia’ Fuda disappeared on July 24 after visiting a coffee shop in Index, Washington, and her car was found out of gas on a highway that winds through the Cascade Mountains the following day.
Rescue crews spent more than 8 days searching the area and were beginning to lose hope when they finally discovered the teen near a ravine deep in the woods on Saturday afternoon.
‘It’s very rare. It is definitely a miracle, and we are so thrilled that she is OK and made it out of there,’ Sgt. Ryan Abbott told reporters. ‘There has been so much support, and so much interest and people wanting to help. It’s nice to see.’
At the time of her ‘abrupt’ disappearance, Fuda who lives in Maple Vally, Wash., left without telling her family where she was going.
Her 2008 Toyota Corolla was found west of Stevens Pass by a state transportation worker. Personal items were found inside the vehicle, but her phone was powered off.
Family and friends spent the past couple of days in the area posting missing person fliers and searching trails.
Authorities had labeled her disappearance ‘suspicious’ and released surveillance footage Friday of Fuda outside the coffee shop near the town of Index.
Abbott told reporters Saturday that rescue teams with bloodhounds came across a notebook and shoes that belonged to Fuda around 2:45 p.m. that day.
Fuda was found two miles up a ‘very steep’ ravine embankment along a creek, authorities said.
Medics treated her on the scene and she was transported to an area hospital, where she was listed in stable condition. Fuda had no food with her, but drank water from a creek along with eating berries from the woods, according to Abbott.
‘This is a remarkable ending,’ he said.
Officials have not yet said why Fuda ended up in the woods, but it is thought Gia Fuda likely got lost after leaving her car to look for gas.
Abbott said she ‘was not very coherent’ at the time of the rescue and couldn’t explain what transpired over the past week.
Rumors of a possible kidnapping appear not to true, ‘at least at this point,’ Abbott said.
Just hours before Fuda was found, her mother expressed fear that there would be a tragic outcome.
‘I feel hopeful, but I don’t feel very good,’ Kristin Fuda told via KOMO on Friday. ‘You just don’t know what to think, it’s totally unknown.’
Jeff White, a friend of the Fuda family, told Q13 FOX he had feared the worst.
‘It’s a miracle,’ White said. ‘God blessed this family today. God blessed this family today for sure.’