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Missing Los Osos woman found on a ranch on the North Coast

Suzanne Kay Smith, a 59-year-old Los Osos woman who had been missing for nearly a week, was found in a barn on a ranch north of Cambria on Sunday.

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said authorities received a call from a male renter at a ranch near Ragged Point at 10:30 a.m. Sunday who reported that a woman was in the barn.

“The person who rents the property heard her calling out for help,” Cipolla said. “He went to investigate, and that is when he found her.”

Cipolla said Smith was conscious, alert and seemed to be in good condition. She was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo for observation; Cipolla did not believe she had any injuries.

Smith told the man at the ranch at 18550 Highway 1 that she had been in a vehicle accident. She was first reported missing Sept. 10. Her truck was found by the CHP on Tuesday off Highway 1 north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse.

She somehow made her way north to the ranch and ended up in the barn, Cipolla said.

“Apparently she got to this barn, and they (responding deputies) said she had kind of fashioned together some plastic bags” as a makeshift bed, Cipolla said. She didn’t fill the bags with hay, he said.

Sheriff’s deputies, search-and-rescue team members, the CHP, State Parks rangers and federal Bureau of Land Management agents joined in looking for Smith on Friday afternoon and Saturday. The search was called off Saturday afternoon.

Before she went missing, Smith had been arrested Sept. 6 on allegations of burglary and inflicting injury on an elder.

Jora Landis, Smith’s neighbor for 16 years, said Smith suffered from impacted teeth and a hand that needed surgery. Smith is a self-employed gardener.

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