When Sheriff Honea received news from his staff that James' SUV had been found, he thought they were going to find her dead inside, he told reporters. James was alive inside the auto in the remote Butte Meadows area after going missing on January 9.
"A Butte County Sheriff's Office helicopter was flying over the Butte Meadows area, when a BCSO Sergeant spotted a vehicle, approximately three miles from the Bambi Inn, covered in snow, that matched the description of the Toyota 4Runner belonging to Paula Beth James, 68, Oroville", the sheriff's office said.
When 68-year-old Paula Beth James, who has dementia, went missing last week, her family feared the worst, according to CBS 42. James' family told authorities she suffers from dementia. James is conscious, talking and being treated at Enloe Medical Center, a spokesperson with the sheriff's office said.
According to CNN, authorities said James was visibly cold when she was found.
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KHSL reported before James was found that detectives had "obtained bank statements that show James hasn't used any cards since before she went missing". "So, it was just literally a miracle that those guys found her in just the nick of time".
She was happy to see rescuers and told them she hoped they had brought a blanket, Powell told KTXL. She was in stable condition on Wednesday afternoon, officials said. As the days dragged on, her family anxious they'd never see her again.
Woman stranded for six days kept warm by periodically turning on her SUV and using moving blankets and floor mats before getting discovered by sheriff's helicopter in Chico, California.
"I really want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the sheriff's department". "They want above and beyond and we really appreciate them for that".
"I just so thankful for the relief that everyone is going to have tonight knowing that she's safe and fed and we'll get to bring her home soon", Powell said.