DPS: 72-year-old rescued after stranded 9 days

Posted at 11:30 AM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 14:45:28-04

A 72-year-old woman was rescued Tuesday after nine days of being stranded in a remote area east of Payson.

A Department of Public Safety spokesperson said Ann Rodgers and her dog got stranded on a remote stretch of road near Canyon Creek on March 31 after running out of gas and depleting the charge on her hybrid car.

She then attempted to climb several ridge lines in an attempt to get cell phone service.

DPS said for the next nine days and nights, Rodgers and her dog survived on pond water and plants.

Officials found her vehicle on April 3 on the side of the road, prompting an aerial search over the next two days that went unsuccessful.

On Saturday, officials found Rodgers' dog walking out of the canyon creek area, and a DPS Ranger helicopter was again called in to help search for her.

During the search, the chopper found a "HELP" signal made of sticks and rocks on the canyon floor. Ground crews located a hand written message at the signal indicating Rodgers was proceeding down the canyon.

Further down, the helicopter located an abandoned shelter and after rounding a bend in the canyon, Rodgers was located next to a signal fire, waving at the chopper.

DPS said she was suffering from exposure but was in fair condition. She was transported to a Payson hospital for treatment.