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Woman who vanished with dog near Death Valley found after 4-day search, officials say

Sheryl Powell, who vanished Friday while taking her dog for a bathroom break on a camping trip to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest north of Death Valley, has been found, Inyo County officials say.
Sheryl Powell, who vanished Friday while taking her dog for a bathroom break on a camping trip to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest north of Death Valley, has been found, Inyo County officials say. Inyo County Sheriff's Office

Shortly after arriving in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest with her husband on a camping trip Friday, Sheryl Powell took her 5-pound dog Miley for a walk, KTLA reported.

Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach and Miley had not been seen since , the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.

On Monday, rescuers found a dog believed to be Miley about 2. 5 miles from Powell’s last known location, and then found Powell “resilient and strong but exhausted,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote Monday afternoon.

The search for Powell by multiple agencies, including a California Highway Patrol helicopter with thermal imaging equipment, had been in its fourth day in the White Mountains north of Death Valley near the California-Nevada border, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Her son, Greg Powell, had earlier posted to Facebook on Saturday complaining about the resources allocated to the search and expressing his fear that his mother had been abducted.

Sheryl Powell and her husband arrived Friday at Grandview Campground in the Inyo National Forest near Big Pine northeast of Fresno, the Orange County Register reported.

She took Miley, a Yorkshire terrier-poodle mix, on a bathroom break while her husband moved their Jeep, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office reported.

But by the time Joseph Powell finished moving the vehicle about five minutes later, his wife and Miley had vanished, KNBC reported. He searched for them for about an hour before contacting authorities on a satellite phone at 2 p.m.

Sheryl Powell had no food or water on her at the time of her disappearance, Greg Powell wrote on Facebook.

“My mom is the strongest and most incredible woman I know and I appreciate everyone’s support and time,” Farrah Powell wrote on Facebook, KTLA reported.

Following a remarkably dry spring, hiking season is already upon us in the Northwest. This video provides some simple advice to make your journey more enjoyable.



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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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