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Missing Huntington Beach woman found alive in Inyo County; man with knife had chased her, family says

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Sheryl Powell is described as an experienced hiker.
(GoFundMe.com)

A Huntington Beach woman who went missing last week while camping was found alive Monday afternoon in a remote area near the Nevada border, authorities said.

Sheryl Powell, 60, was reported missing about 2 p.m. Friday in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest area in Inyo County. Her husband told authorities that she disappeared while she took their dog out for a bathroom break and he moved their Jeep at their remote campsite.

Searchers found Powell on Monday in an “extremely remote area” above the town of Big Pine, according to a statement from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

“Searchers describe her as resilient and strong but exhausted,” according to the statement.

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A few hours before discovering Powell, searchers found the couple’s small dog, Miley, alive.

Her son, Greg Powell, said she was dehydrated but managed to survive by eating cactus.

Powell told ABC News that his mother said she left the campsite to take her dog for a short walk. She said she was chased by a knife-wielding man, according to her son.

“He chased her down the hill and she ran away,” he said. “She was too scared to take the normal path because she thought he was following her. That’s why she wasn’t where they expected her to be.”

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The Sheriff’s Office said in another statement that it is “actively investigating the circumstances surrounding her disappearance. We have no further information at this time.”

Several agencies — including the California Highway Patrol’s aerial support team, using thermal imaging technology — participated in the search, which covered land, air and water. Additional resources were ordered from across the state for Monday’s search, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Sunday.

Police said Monday that multiple gullies, shale slopes, low shade, direct sun and rattlesnakes presented challenges in the search at Grandview Campground, which is 8,600 feet in elevation.

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Powell’s daughter, Farrah, created a GoFundMe page to support the search effort and had raised more than $22,000 by Monday morning. The woman said donations would help pay for additional rescue personnel and fund helicopter searches if authorities scaled back operations.

The GoFundMe page asks supporters to contact Gov. Gavin Newsom and Inyo County authorities to ask for more funding and search-and-rescue volunteers.

“Thank you so much everyone for the continued support, kind words, and positive energy,” a post on the page said late Sunday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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