KING COUNTY, Wash. — The search for a Maple Valley teenager who has been missing for just over a week came to a close Saturday, with a positive ending.
The King County Sheriff’s Office said 18-year-old Giovanna (Gia) Fuda was found alive Saturday eight days after she was reported missing.
Search and rescue crews found Fuda about two miles up a steep ravine along Highway 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass, according to King County Sheriff spokesperson Ryan Abbott.
She was awake and alert and rescuers immediately gave her medical aid and transported her to a local hospital.
Abbott said search and rescue teams accompanied by bloodhounds had been in the area looking for Fuda for the last seven days. At about 2:45 p.m. Saturday, they came across a notebook and eventually some clothing and shoes that belonged to Fuda. The searchers followed a creek up the ravine and found Fuda.
“This is very rare, it is definitely a miracle, and we are so thrilled that she made it out okay,” said Abbott.
Abbott said since Fuda was near a flowing creek, she had access to water, but didn’t have any food with her, and only had a few pieces of clothing and a notepad when she was found.
She was quickly reunited with her family.
Detectives are still waiting to talk with Fuda about what happened, but Abbott said they believe she ran out of gas and went looking for help and somehow got turned around.
Fuda was last seen on July 24 when she left her Maple Valley home without telling her parents where she was headed.
Her car was found abandoned the next day along Highway 2 near Stevens Pass.
Earlier this week, the sheriff’s department released more surveillance photos of Fuda, in an effort to try and see if anyone recognized her and knew her whereabouts.
Detectives were seeking any dash camera or photos available from people who may have seen her along the highway.
Missing Washington teen found alive eight days after her disappearance
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