Missing Woman, Cat Found After Month in Forest

Woman survives weeks stranded in New Mexico national park
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2012 12:33 AM CST
Updated Mar 9, 2012 4:32 AM CST
Missing Hiker, Cat Found After Month in Forest
Page was reported missing on February 12.   (Albuquerque police)

(Newser) – A woman who had been missing for nearly a month was found starving but still alive in New Mexico's Gila National Forest. Search crews say 41-year-old Margaret Page was stranded in the forest for weeks, surviving on creek water and the food she had brought with her, and lost close to a third of her body weight. Her cat—described as "sluggish and thin"—stayed by her side, reports the Las Cruces Sun-News.

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When the rescue crew called in to tell the operations chief that they had found her, "my chin dropped, and I said, 'Is she alive?'" he recalled. "They said, 'She's alive. And she's got a cat.'" Page —who had told her family she was going to Florida—was reported missing in early February. Forest Service workers spotted Page's car by the trailhead almost a month ago, but they didn't run the plates until two weeks later, and it was another 10 days before police were informed, sparking a search that found her in an hour. (Read more search and rescue stories.)

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