After surviving for nine days in the Arizona wilderness, 72-year-old Ann Rodgers and her dog were rescued just this past Saturday. On her way to Phoenix, AZ Ann ran out of gas in her car and decided to walk to find cellphone service and call for help.
After hiking and passing over a few ridges, Ann looked back and seemed to be lost…
“The probabilities of finding her alive were really low. It’s a miracle on its own that she’s still here given she was out there that many days.” – Sheriff Johnny Holmes
After finding her car on the side of the road, police began a search for the missing driver. Unbelievably, she and her dog were able to survive for over 9 days by drinking only pond water and local plants. Lost in the White River Indian Reservation area, Ann began to get desperate to be found. She even spelled out “HELP” using large sticks, in hopes that a passing airplane or helicopter might spot it. She hid with it a note stating that she was out of food and water and was heading further down the canyon. Searching for nearly a week it, wasn’t until a park officer found Rodgers’s dog walking around on April 9 that Ann was saved.
While flying over the park, the search team found the “HELP” message and handwritten letter. They then followed directions and found an abandoned shelter down the canyon.
Finally, just before 6 p.m., they found Rodgers next to a signal fire waving to the the helicopter.
Ann was suffering from exposure but in “fair condition,”according to officials.
She was take by helicopter to a nearby hospital for treatment and released later that day.
“She’s an amazing person just from what I know from me dealing with the search on this end of it. I’d love to shake her hand one day.” – Sheriff Johnny Holmes