California Woman Found Alive In Vehicle Buried In Snow A Week After She Was Reported Missing

A California woman was found alive in her car almost a week after she was reported missing.

Paula Beth James, 68, was rescued on Wednesday after her Toyota 4Runner was found buried in the snow in Butte Meadows, located around 40 minutes outside Chico, California, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

James was reported missing after she was last seen on January 9 at her home in Oroville, California, and a Silver Alert was issued in a bid to locate James over the weekend. The sheriff's office said she suffers from dementia and may have become disorientated.

In an update posted on Facebook on Wednesday, the sheriff's office said a helicopter was searching the area near Butte Meadows when it spotted a vehicle that matched the description to the one belonging to James at around 12 p.m.

After landing the helicopter, two sheriff's office employees hiked to where the car was and found James alive inside.

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A search and rescue crew responded to the area to rescue James and take her to be treated by paramedics nearby. She was then taken to a local hospital and is in a stable condition, the sheriff's office added.

"A Butte County Sheriff's Office helicopter was flying over the Butte Meadows area, when a BCSO Sergeant spotted a vehicle, approximately three miles from the Bambi Inn, covered in snow, that matched the description of the Toyota 4Runner belonging to Paula Beth James, 68, Oroville," the sheriff's office said.

"The pilot landed the helicopter and two BCSO employees hiked to the vehicle, which was located approximately 150 yards off the road on Skyway, and located James alive."

The sheriff's office added that BCSO deputies, detectives, search and rescue crews and pilots spent more than 100 hours searching for James. "We are all grateful for this fortunate outcome and wish her a speedy recovery," the sheriff's office added.

The news prompted relief from many members of the community.

"Thank you Butte county sheriff's and everybody involved in the search. Without you guys and ladies Beth would not be alive! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Darrell Murphy wrote on Facebook.

Angela Seward added: "Thank you all for your hard work and your searching and finding her. So grateful for a happy ending."

The Butte County Sheriff's Office has been contacted for additional comment.

Paula Beth James
Paula Beth James was found alive in her vehicle almost a week after she was reported missing in California. Butte County Sheriff's Office