Federal Way family grateful after 10-year-old girl rescued from mountains

We are seeing for the first time the 10-year-old girl rescued in Central Washington. Her family explains how she managed to survive sleeping outside all alone overnight.

That 10-year-old Federal Way girl disappeared at the Cathedral Rock Trail in the northern Cle Elum River Valley. Miraculously, she was found unharmed.

Her family is counting its blessings because they and the rescuers weren’t sure if she could survive the cold night in the woods. But she is now back home in Federal Way.

It is a sight those who love 10-year-old Shughla Mashwani thought they might never see again. Just 48 hours ago, she was lost overnight along the Cathedral Rock Trail in Central Washington.

“It was scary,” said Irshad Mashwani, her relative. “It was scary.”

KIRO 7 met Shughla inside the apartment she shares with her large extended family from Afghanistan. They had gone to the rugged trail along the icy Cle Elum River because it reminds them of their native land. But as they were gathering to return to King County, they realized Shughla was not with them.

“And then we keep walking for like five hours,” said Irshad Mashwani.

“Nobody thinks she will be alive,” said Mashwani. “No. We’re just looking for evidence that she will be here, a shoe or a part of a dress.”

By then, search and rescue teams from at least seven counties had descended on Cathedral Rock to find her.

Mashwani acted as translator.

“When I get lost I keep walking and the night come to me,” said Shughla. “And I just sleep.”

She says when she woke up, she spotted the people searching for her. But she hid.

“I think they are thief and they’re gonna steal me,” she said, smiling sheepishly.

They started calling her name, showed pictures of her relatives, and she finally believed them. Soon reunited with her family, desperate to hear some good news.

“Yes, yes,” she said. “Very happy.”

It was such a delight to see her alive. Shughla says it was cold overnight but she just slept through it. She does have some scratches. But otherwise, she is okay.

Her relative said it. Aaron said it. I’ll say it. She is a very strong little girl, for sure.