Arizona College student, Lauren Weinberg, was released from the hospital Thursday after she survived nine days being stuck in her car in the snow with only two candy bars.
Weinberg said before she was rescued on Wednesday that she was stuck amid 2 feet of snow in temperatures near zero for nine days with no heavy coat, blankets or gloves in her car. She said her car ran out of gas.
Two Forest Service employees on snowmobiles found Weinberg about 45 miles southeast of Winslow while they were checking gates on forest roads. One of them had checked the same gate the morning of Dec. 12 when Weinberg said she became stranded but didn't see anything.
The Huffington Post reports authorities and the U.S. Forest Service workers had no reason to doubt her story, but one thing authorities are still not clear about is why the 23-year-old Weinberg drove to the mostly uninhabited mountains of Arizona during finals week at Arizona State University. She was less than a mile from a ranch in an area with no cell phone service. She told authorities her car could not be seen from the ranch.
Weinberg told authorities she had been driving with no specific destination, traveling south from Winslow toward the Mogollon Rim. After the paved road became a dirt road, Weinberg stopped at a fence line to move a gate and her vehicle got stuck in the snow.
One of the Forest Service workers who found Weinberg, Bob McDonald, said he called out to see if anyone was around the vehicle, and Weinberg opened the back door, looking relieved.
"I am so thankful to be alive and warm," Weinberg said in a statement late Wednesday according to The Huffington Post. "Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers, because they worked. There were times I was afraid but mostly I had faith I would be found."