Parents of young woman found alive in woods thank rescuers

VIDEO: Parents of young woman found alive in woods thank rescuers

MONROE, Wash. — Bob and Kristin Fuda were reunited with their 18-year-old daughter, Gia Fuda, Saturday afternoon after she spent eight days alone deep in the woods.

“They pulled up in that Jeep, and it was holy cow, a miracle — there she was,” Bob Fuda said.

All week, Gia Fuda was the focus of an intense search after her car was found abandoned on Highway 2.

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Unsure if she had been abducted, investigators called her disappearance suspicious.

Gia Fuda told her parents what actually happened.

“I think she was on a wild chase to find some coffee shops, and she completely thought she was going to North Bend, and she got a little turned around,” Kristin Fuda said.

Concerned about staying on a section of highway with no cell service after her car ran out of gas, Gia Fuda locked the doors and took only a small bag with her journal and Bible.

“She was looking for the bridge that goes into Skykomish. But little did she know that was down the road, way down the road, and on the other side,” Bob Fuda said.

Hoping to find a trail to the bridge, she headed into dense woods and got lost in rugged terrain.

“Thank God there was a creek up there because that’s where she stayed cool. She said the trees kept her cool,” Kristin Fuda said.

Gia Fuda drank from the creek and ate berries, hunkered down at night and looked for places to find help.

On Saturday, search and rescue crews found her journal, her shoes and her phone.

Soon after, they found Fuda alive.

She was dehydrated and is now recovering at a Monroe hospital, doing well.

“All the people from search and rescue who volunteered their time, we are so grateful,” Kristin Fuda said.