A Northern California woman survived on yogurt and melted snow while stranded in the snowy wilderness of Lassen County for six days, officials said. 

Sheena Gullett, 52, and her friend, Justin Lonich, 48, were driving a dirt road off Highway 44 on April 14 when their car got stuck in the snow, the Lassen Count Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Gullet and Lonich were on their way to Little Valley, a small town where they both live that’s 43 miles northwest of Susanville.

After spending the night in their car, they found that their battery was dead and attempted to walk back to Highway 44, the sheriff’s office said. But when the soles on Gullett’s boots came off, the two were separated and Lonich was unable to find his friend as a storm dumped snow. 

Gullet built a fire and spent another night in the backwoods, and continued walking the next day, officials said. After a third night in the snow, he made it to Highway 44, where he got a ride into Susanville and reported his missing friend to police, the news release said.

Sheriff’s deputies, sergeants, detectives, and US Forest Service personnel conducted ground searches, but Lonich was unable to provide clear instruction on where to look as he was unfamiliar with the area and the roads they traveled, the sheriff’s office said.. “On one day, when the weather was clear, the California Highway Patrol flew the search area in a helicopter in conjunction with a ground search team, but they were unable to locate the vehicle or Sheena,” the news release said.

Finally, in the late morning of Wednesday, April 20, they located Gullett. Lonich rode in a car with the sheriff’s deputy to try to find the location where he and Sheena got stuck. With the help of officials from other agencies, they found the vehicle and Gullett at around 3:00 p.m.

“Immediately upon his arrival, Sheena came out of the vehicle,” the sheriff’s office said. “She was very emotional, but physically okay.”

Officials said that during the six days she was stranded, she “rationed a six-pack of yogurt, eating one per day,” the news release said.  With no access to water, she ate snow.

She told officials that she had seen the helicopter fly, but the search teams didn’t see her since “she was in a heavily wooded area,” officials said.  

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