Dogs were used to trace her scent and rule out some areas, which allowed searchers to close in on the area where she was found, said Jennifer Brenes, the president of the King County Search and Rescue.
“Every search and rescue is very unique,” said Ms. Brenes, who works with about 900 search and rescue missions a year. “It’s truly its own puzzle every time. You’re trying to determine what someone is thinking when they got lost.”
The search continued for seven days. On Saturday, it turned a corner. Ms. Fuda’s notebook, jacket, shoes, socks, backpack, Bible and cellphone were found along Scenic Creek.
Sitting in a U.S. Forest Service office in Skykomish, Ms. Fuda’s parents were briefed by Detective Ed Christian of the Sheriff’s Office about the discovery.
About 30 minutes later, Detective Christian came back with some news. “Hug your wife,” he said to Ms. Fuda’s father. Their daughter had been found safe.
Ms. Fuda was sitting on a rock at Scenic Creek in a steep ravine, about 1.2 miles from where her car was found and about a quarter of a mile from where searchers had found her belongings. She was surprised to see people and to learn that she had been there more than four days. (In fact, it was nine.)
“It’s a miracle,” her father said.
Warm nights and water from the creek helped Ms. Fuda survive, said Greg Prothman, a rescue team leader, who also said that her having stayed in roughly the same area had made it easier to find her. Her mother said Ms. Fuda had also eaten a few berries, possibly huckleberries, but not too many because she had worried that they might be poisonous.