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Folsom hiker found alive after 9 days in Sierra National Forest

Miyuki Harwood, 62, had been missing since Aug. 20.
Miyuki Harwood, 62, had been missing since Aug. 20.

A helicopter rescued a 62-year-old Folsom woman Saturday who had been missing for nine days in the Sierra National Forest.

Search members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office found Miyuki Harwood in an area east of Courtright Reservoir, alive but injured. The extent of her injuries was unknown, according to sheriff’s officials.

Harwood went missing after becoming separated from her Sierra Club hiking group. Harwood’s hiking partners last saw her on a trail near Horsehead Lake Aug. 20 around 1 p.m. When they noticed her missing, the group circled back to that spot and searched down the trail, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Harwood’s friend, Curtis Hendrickson, said it was her first time hiking with the group. He said she did not know any of her fellow hikers before the trip.

He said Harwood is known for hiking solo and described her as “ a very knowledgeable, experienced backpacker.”

Fresno County’s search and rescue team began surveying the area for signs of Harwood on foot and horseback Aug. 21. Searches intensified Tuesday with the launch of a drone and the addition of approximately 25 more team members. Search dogs also were used in the effort.

Harwood recently moved to Folsom from Orangevale, according to past and current neighbors. A sign on Harwood’s front door in Folsom asked visitors not to disturb residents.

Sierra Club Program Safety Manager Todd Duncan issued a statement Saturday saying the organization was “overjoyed” that Harwood was found.

“We are extremely thankful for the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, all other supporting agencies involved, and the search and rescue staff and volunteers for their courageous and persistent efforts searching in remote country amid difficult conditions,” the statement read. “Their good work is the mark of an expert, dedicated group of professionals that we want to acknowledge with respect and appreciation. We wish Ms. Harwood a speedy and safe recovery and our thoughts are with her family."

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