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Missing Alabama Woman Survived 28 Days On Berries and Mushrooms

Photo: Will Theris Facebook

After 28 days lost in the woods alone, Lisa Theris is reunited with her family.

According to a report from NBC News, Lisa was discovered by a motorist who spotted her in the bushes this weekend along  Highway 82 near Union Springs in Bullock County, Alabama. After pulling over to investigate what she first thought was a deer, the motorist, Judy Garner, found Lisa petrified, covered in bug bites, and emaciated.

“I started shaking. I was crying, I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do,” Garner told NBC News. “So I went over to her and asked her if she would stay there while I get water out of my van. She stayed, and I called 911 and told them I had found a girl on the road…She said she ate berries and drank muddy water,” Garner said. “I gave her a hug and said, ‘You poor thing. You’ve been through a lot.’” Garner told NBC that Theris was lethargic and that she begged Garner “not to leave her side.” “I don’t think she could have made it much longer,” Garner said.

Lisa was last seen on July 18 near in the community of Midway, about 35 miles southeast of Montgomery. The Bullock County Sheriff’s Department has concluded that Lisa was with two men who were going to break into a hunting camp in the rural area that night she disappeared. Theris told police that once she realized the men were going to commit a crime, she wanted nothing to do with the burglary and jumped out of their car and ran into the woods. The location where Garner found Theris was another 30-plus miles southeast of the location she fled from the car, and it’s unclear how she traveled that far.

As Bullock County Sheriff Raymond Rogers said, “She’s not familiar with this area and apparently on the night she ran, she went into the woods at night and got lost. I just thank God that she’s alive.”

Randall Oswald (36) and Manley Davis (31), from Pike County, AL were arrested July 31st and charged with breaking into the hunting camp and stealing $40,000 worth of property. They seemed to support the story that Theris suddenly fled their car on the night of their crime and said they had not seen her since. As of today, they have not been charged with any crimes against Theris, including charges related to her disappearance.

Throughout her month-long ordeal, Theris apparently had no shelter, shoes, or food. She only survived by foraging for wild berries and mushrooms, as Garner indicated. By the time she was rescued this weekend, she had lost 50 pounds.

Given her traumantic nightmare, police are letting her regroup before conducting an extensive investigation. As Sheriff Rogers said, “The bugs had really been on her, and she had a lot of scratch marks. We didn’t ask her too many questions. We want to make sure her health is good.”

A testament to her will to survive, one law enforcement official described her story as a “miracle.”

It is unclear when she will be released from the hospital. Her sister told reporters “She is severely weakened, she is in pain, she is emaciated.”

No information has been released to indicate that they were involved with her actual disappearance.

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