Woman survives 28 days in woods by eating berries, mushrooms

File photo

BULLOCK COUNTY, Ala. — A woman lost in the woods of Alabama managed to survive for weeks through grit and determination to see her family again.

WAFB-TV said Lisa Theris, 25, of Louisville was reported missing July 23, but first became lost in the woods July 17 or 18.

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Investigators said she was with two men who burglarized a hunting camp July 17 and 18. Theris said she didn't know they were going to be breaking into the lodge and didn't want any part of it. She ran into the woods to get away and became lost.

There was a massive search for Theris that spanned several counties in the dense woods, reports WSFA-TV.

In order to survive, Theris told the sheriff she had been drinking water out of a brook and eating berries and mushrooms. Still, she lost 50 pounds and admitted to be very disoriented due to dehydration. She said she kept getting turned around, but was trying to find a way out and get help.

Finally, on Saturday, she came across an opening to a highway. A woman driving by thought she saw something in the bushes. She called authorities and said she thought she saw the missing person.

“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 so we got her on to the hospital. We did not interrogate her at that time,” Sheriff Raymond Rodgers said.

Theris' sister, expressed gratitude that she was found alive.

“Words cannot describe the happiness and relief we feel that she has been found and returned to us,” Elizabeth Theris said. "We are lucky that she is alive, she is so strong and has made it through so much. She is severely weakened; she is in pain, she is emaciated. There is not an inch of her that has not been affected.”

The sheriff said the investigation into the burglary and her disappearance is ongoing, but they first want to make sure Theris is healthy and recovered.