The woman, whose family says she suffers from a brain condition, had been missing for two days

By Alex Heigl
Updated February 23, 2015 03:45 PM

Keith Sheldon was driving in Franklin, Tennessee, on Friday, looking to take photographs of the area’s recent snowfall, when he spotted an abandoned car stuck in the ice off Daniel McMahon Lane.

Sheldon started taking pictures of the car. “I was going to come over here and get a picture of the car and the license plate just for the church to have in case they had any questions,” he told Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN.

While taking the photograph, Sheldon noticed something lying nearby. Looking closer, he realized it was a person – an elderly woman. “She was lying right there against that dirt bank and she blended in, had a brown coat on and it looked just like the dirt,” Sheldon explained.

“I was here at the car, and I was yelling at her, ‘Hello? Can you hear me?’ and I got no response,” Sheldon said. The temperature at the time was just 12 degrees.

The woman, lying on her side in the fetal position, was alive but incoherent, and pushed Sheldon away when he tried to help. Sheldon called 911 immediately and paramedics arrived 10 minutes later. “She was frozen to the ground,” he added. Whenever we lifted her up, she was frozen to the ground.”

She was later identified as 74-year-old Patricia (last name not released), who had been missing for two days. Her family had filed a missing persons report and added that the woman suffers from a brain dysfunction. She was treated for hypothermia at the hospital and released a short time later.