Huntington Beach woman goes on ‘Today’ show to describe survival in remote wilderness

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

Huntington Beach woman goes on ‘Today’ show to describe survival in remote wilderness

by Sean Emery, Eric Licas

A Huntington Beach woman who spent several days lost in the Inyo National Forest told a TV interviewer Tuesday morning that wasn’t sure she would survive her ordeal.

Sitting next to her husband and adult children, the dog she went missing in the wilderness with in her lap, Sheryl Powell in a ‘Today’ show appearance said she was “doing ok,” and was “just happy to be here with my family, I’m happy to be here to tell my story, didn’t know if I’d make it.”

Searchers, drawn to the barking of Milo, Powell’s 5-pound Yorki-poo, discovered the 60-year-old hiker on Monday afternoon near the Montenegro Springs area, about two and a half miles from the Grandview Campground where she went missing on Friday.

Powell was described by authorities and her family as exhausted and dehydrated but still resilient and strong after surviving on stagnant pond water and cactus fruit in the remote area above Big Pine in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

On Monday, Powell’s son said she and her dog had walked away from their Jeep to relieve themselves shortly after arriving at the campground with her husband. Powell was confronted by a stranger with a knife, according to the family, who made a lewd comment and threatened to harm her pet, forcing her to run away and become lost, off the roads and trails.

During the Today show interview, Powell described the stranger as a “big guy, burly, bald-headed, tan-skinned.”

“I thought my dog was going to be hacked up by him,” Powell said. “I was told do what he wants and he’ll refrain from using the knife on us. It scared me enough to act pretty docile and let him think I was going to go along with him. I got a chance to take off with my dog and ran, and he was pursuing me.

“But I was only concerned about that for the first day,” she added. “I never saw him again.”

Inyo County Sheriff’s officials have not commented on the encounter she described.

Powell’s husband, Joseph, told the Today show that he had begun to lose hope of ever seeing his wife again.

“I had to keep my act together, I needed to do everything I could to help her,” Joseph said. “Yesterday, I was the saddest man on the planet. Today I’m the happiest man on the planet. It is a miracle.”

A crowdfunding page created by Powell’s family while she was missing to accept donations for additional search efforts or a private investigator raised more than $29,000 from at least 270 donations. The family has since indicated that they plan to return the money to donors.

All credit goes to Sean Emery, Eric Licas Originally published on

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