Missing woman found safe after running into woods

Published 2:15 pm Saturday, February 17, 2024

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On Feb. 15, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a white female who exited a vehicle and ran through the woods near mile-marker 139 on Interstate Highway -65. 

The woman had initially driven west on Alabama Highway 10, parked her vehicle, and was picked up by another vehicle before exiting the automobile on I-65. 

According to Butler County Sheriff Danny Bond, a helpful passerby initially encountered the woman, who claimed she couldn’t find her keys. 

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“She told him she needed a ride and needed to go rent a car,” Bond said. “He was going to take her into town but then she demanded to get on the interstate. He eventually pulled over, and she exited the car and ran into the woods. So, he called to let us know what happened.” 

The search involved tracking dogs and an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) helicopter, leading to the woman’s discovery in Fort Deposit near the Calico Fort area. 

Identified as a missing person possibly in danger. The woman sustained minor scratches but was otherwise unharmed. She was transported to Baptist South for treatment.

Fort Deposit Police Chief Terry Steiner, first on the scene, expressed initial uncertainty about the situation.

“I wasn’t sure of the situation to begin with,” Steiner said. “The call said a white female ran into the woods, so I drove that way. We found her in Fort Deposit. On Lee Street.” 

Authorities later located the woman’s abandoned vehicle and used the vehicle’s license plate to confirm the missing person report.

“In these situations, you want to do everything you can to find them,” Sheriff Bond emphasized. “Thankfully, we were all able to work together quickly…us and the Fort Deposit Police and Lowndes County [Sheriff]. ALEA was bringing in dogs from Atmore. When agencies come together like that, you tend to get a positive outcome.”

Local authorities are deferring to law enforcement in Vestavia Hills, where the woman was reported missing, as to when or if her identity will be released.