Washington Teen, 18, Found Alive in the Woods 9 Days After Disappearing
Seattle authorities found Giovanna "Gia" Fudo sitting on a rock near a steep ravine after they discovered her notebook, car keys and clothing in the woods
A Washington teen was reunited with her family on Saturday after she went missing for over a week in the woods.
The King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) in Seattle confirmed in a post on Facebook that their search and rescue crews finally located Giovanna "Gia" Fudo in the Stevens Pass area after the teen spent nine days alone and lost in the woods.
"Miracles do happen!" they captioned the photos of Gia in the hospital with her parents, Kristin and Bob Fuda, by her side.
Gia was first reported missing by her parents on July 24 after her mom told CNN that she failed to answer phone calls and text messages.
That same day, surveillance camera footage obtained by the KCSO showed Gia at a coffee shop near Index, according to CNN.
KCSO officials announced in a tweet on July 26 that Gia's vehicle had been spotted along a highway and that she had abandoned her car after running out of gas.
"Detectives believe she could be in Eastern WA. It's unknown who picked her up," the tweet read. "Family and friends have not heard from Gia."
The following day, authorities declared Gia's disappearance suspicious, noting that her purse was found in her abandoned vehicle but her cell phone — which the KCSO said was off — was missing.
Search and rescue teams continued to look for the teen throughout the next few days, with her parents even joining in on the efforts, until they announced she had been found on August 1.
"Gia Fuda has been found ALIVE!! After 8 days missing she was just found by search and rescue crews," the KCSO wrote on Twitter. "Amazing job by search and rescue and everyone involved who helped to find Gia."
In their Facebook post, KCSO officials revealed that Gia was found "up a steep ravine, sitting on a rock near the river," and was transported to a hospital to be treated for scrapes, cuts and dehydration.
"They searched on foot day after day, finally coming across a notebook with Gia's name on it, her car keys, and some clothing that helped direct them toward an area to search," the KCSO wrote, before taking a moment to commend their search teams.
"We cannot say enough about our Search and Rescue Detective Ed Christian, King County Search and Rescue, and multiple other SAR Teams who never gave up looking for Gia," they added.
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Speaking to Seattle radio station KOMO News after the dramatic ordeal, Kristin explained that her daughter got lost after pulling over on the side of the road and attempting to get help.
"She said she ran out of gas and just pulled over real quick and locked the door," Kristin shared. "She was trying to find a bridge to go over in Skykomish but she was on the wrong side of the road. She thought she could hike up and find a bridge and yeah, that didn’t work out."
"She only thought she was up there for three days," her mom added. "She didn’t realize how long it had been."
Despite being alone for so long, Kristin said Gia was confident that she would survive, relying on her faith as well as eating berries and drinking water from a creek to carry on.
"She’s always been very tough – mentally tough and physically tough," Kristin told KOMO News. "She was a little afraid, but she’s very religious. She just prayed; she knew she’d make it."
Added her father, Bob: "She’s a survivor. Her arms are all scratched up, she’s beat up, she has bug bites on her legs and her back."
"Everyone knows the outcome could have went either way," he continued. "For it to go this way, for being out there this long in the elements — it's a miracle."