Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Missing ASU student found alive after being stranded nine days in Coconino National Forest

USFS employees checking winter road closure gates find woman with her vehicle that was stuck in the snow

Flagstaff, AZ – Twenty-three year old Lauren E. Weinberg, an ASU student who was last seen in Phoenix  Dec. 11, was located alive in Coconino County at approximately 11:30 am. today, Dec. 21.  Emergency Communications Specialists with the Northern Arizona Regional 911 Reception Center received a call that Weinberg was with her vehicle at the intersection of Forest Road 34 and Forest Road 100 approximately 46 miles south/southeast of Winslow.
Two USFS employees were in the area on snowmobiles checking to see if winter road closure gates were secure when they discovered Weinberg by her vehicle.  The vehicle was disabled in the snow and not mobile.  They described her condition as coherent and lucid but very hungry, thirsty and cold. Weinberg told her rescuers she was extremely happy that she was found alive. A Coconino County Sheriff’s deputy met with Weinberg and continued the interview.
Weinberg said she left the Phoenix area and was driving around with no specific destination and found herself in Winslow. She drove on a paved road that turned into a dirt road and stopped her vehicle at a fence line. When she attempted to move the vehicle, she found that it was stuck in the snow and not mobile. Weinberg said she had two candy bars that she ate and was able to get drinking water by placing snow in a clear plastic bottle and allowing it to melt in the warmth of the sun. She was stranded with her vehicle at the location where she was found since Dec. 12 .  The deputy transported Weinberg to the Flagstaff Medical Center for examination.  The missing person investigation will be continued by the Phoenix Police Department.

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