ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. (KTLA) — A Placentia woman who had been missing for more than a week was found Friday morning in Angeles National Forest, authorities said.
Shameca Lewis Johnson, 24, had last been seen Aug. 20 and had been a subject of a search in the rugged area northeast of La Canada Flintridge on Thursday and Friday, authorities said.
“Great news. Missing woman found OK,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crescenta Valley Station said on Twitter just after 2 p.m.
A woman who described herself as Johnson’s best friend and roommate told KTLA she had learned that Johnson was safe before noon from a Placentia Police Department detective.
“Thank God she’s alive,” Ivie Dangtran said.
Officers from Placentia, a city in Orange County, were with sheriff’s department officials at Switzer campground, according to a tweet sent at about 10:25 a.m. from the Crescenta Valley Station.
Hikers who had seen a woman in distress on the trail Thursday night said they believed she was Johnson after seeing her image on the news, according to the sheriff’s department.
“Hikers saw a woman abt 100 yds up trail from Switzer campground. Appeared in distress. Did not respond to offer of help,” the station tweeted in a series of posts about the search.
The hikers gave the woman water and a snack, and she appeared “physically OK,” the station said. The hikers later reported the interaction to authorities.
“Hikers saw photo on news & believe woman they saw on trail is missing woman from Placentia,” the station tweeted.
In a news release issued Friday afternoon, the sheriff’s department said Johnson was found at about 10:45 a.m. in the Switzer Falls area, which is popular with hikers and picnickers.
“She was found in good physical condition and was re-united with her family who were at the command post,” the release stated.
A helicopter, dogs and a volunteer search and rescue team had been involved in the operation, the department said.
Searchers had looked for the woman from about 8 p.m. Thursday until 1 a.m. Friday, when it was too dark to continue. The search resumed at 7 a.m. Friday, the news release said.
Dangtran had said that a Placentia Police Department detective told her Johnson was found early Friday morning at Buckhorn Campground, where family members speculated that Johnson might have gone hiking. The Buckhorn area is about 35 miles northeast of La Canada Flintridge, about 20 miles farther along the Angeles Crest Highway than Switzer Falls.