A "resourceful" US woman missing for more than five months has been found alive in a Utah forest, telling her discoverers she foraged for moss and grass to survive.
A search for the 47-year-old was initially launched in November 2020 after an abandoned car and camping equipment was found at a campground near the Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah.
Detectives and a search team from the Utah County Sheriff's Office (UCSO) conducted aerial and ground searches of the area but were unable to locate the woman.
Over the interceding months, authorities attempted to identify and contact the woman's relatives without success.
They did make contact with her former co-workers, who were unable to help in locating her although they did suggest she may struggle with mental health challenges.
Last Sunday, UCSO launched a renewed search for the woman in the Diamond Fork area with the help of an aerial search organisation's drone.
During one of the drone's first passes of the area, it crashed.
Officials looking for the crashed drone stumbled upon a tent, which they at first thought had been abandoned, until the zipper of the tent began to open.
Inside was the missing 47-year-old woman.
She had lost a significant amount of weight and was weak, but told authorities she had been surviving off grass and moss she'd foraged and drank water from a nearby river.
Describing the woman as "resourceful", the Utah County Sheriff's Office said it appeared she had chosen to remain in the forest by choice.
UCSO Deputies took the woman to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation, but emphasised that she had done nothing wrong.
"While many people might choose to not live in the circumstances and conditions this woman did, she did nothing against the law," a statement from the Utah County Sheriff's Office read.
"And in the future she might choose to return to the same area. Resources were made available to her should she decide to use them."