Woman Found Alive in Snow-Covered Vehicle After 6 Days Missing in NorCal Mountains

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Paula Beth James is seen in a photo released by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.

A woman with dementia who went missing six days ago was discovered alive Wednesday in her snowbound sports utility vehicle in Northern California, authorities said.

A search helicopter flying over the remote, mountainous community of Butte Meadows spotted a vehicle matching the description of the SUV owned by 68-year-old Paula Beth James, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office posted on Twitter.

Butte Meadows is about 200 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Paula Beth James is rescued from her snow-covered car on Jan. 15, 2020, after having been missing for six days in Butte Meadows. (Credit: Butte County Sheriff's Office.)
Paula Beth James is rescued from her snow-covered car on Jan. 15, 2020, after having been missing for six days in Butte Meadows. (Credit: Butte County Sheriff’s Office.)

The helicopter landed and two searchers hiked to the vehicle, finding James inside, the sheriff’s office said.

The SUV was described as being buried in the snow.

She was taken to a hospital and was last listed in stable condition.

James, who disappeared Jan. 9., is from the Oroville, about 50 miles from Butte Meadows. Rescue crews spent over 100 hours searching for the woman, authorities said.

The sheriff’s office sent a tracked vehicle designed for traveling on snow to get James.

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