By NOREEN HYSLOP
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A woman lost in a densely wooded area east of Bloomfield was found unharmed at 3:39 p.m. Wednesday following a hunt by several area emergency responders that lasted more than three hours.
According to Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner, deputies responded to a call from help at about 12:30 Wednesday afternoon. A woman living in an area just east of County Road 550 east of Bloomfield had reportedly gone for a walk in the wooded area near her home. While walking, she reportedly lost her footing, slipped into a ravine and for a time was disoriented, unable to find her way to a clearing.
Sheriff's deputies, Stoddard County EMS, volunteers from the area, Bloomfield Fire Department, the Department of Conservation and the Highway Patrol reported to the area in search of the woman who had periodic phone contacts with a brother on the scene. A command center was established at County Road 550. An Air Evac helicopter unit also responded to the area shortly after 1 p.m. to assist in locating the woman.
Several efforts were made through AT&T during the sporadic contacts with the woman to gain coordinates that would lead to her location, but the calls were repeatedly dropped just short of affording authorities ample time to gain the needed information. Finally, just before 3 p.m., rescuers were able to pinpoint her location based on her calls. Teams converged upon the area just west of County Road 537, a short distance southeast of where she was originally reported. It was another 35 minutes before an emergency responder notified others that he had "vocal contact" with the woman. Moments later, she was located and escorted to the safety of a nearby home. She required no medical attention.
In all, about 25 individuals, including emergency responders, assisted in the search. The woman, who asked not to be identified, is reportedly in good condition.