Northern California woman survives in wilderness on yogurt and snow

A woman in rural Lassen County is recovering after being lost six days in the wilderness.

Sheena Gullett, 52, was reported missing after she and a friend were driving to Little Valley on dirt roads off of Highway 44 on April 14 and their truck died, according to the Lassen County Sheriff's Office. After the pair got separated, officials said she survived on eating yogurt and snow for six days.

Her friend, 48-year-old Justin Lonich, reported her missing on April 18 at approximately 2:30 a.m., after he hiked back from the remote area where they got lost, officials said.

Lonich told officials they spent the first night in the truck, and then the battery died, so they began walking back to Highway 44. 

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Gullet fell behind as the soles of her boots had come off, Lonich said, so he went ahead to get help. He hiked, built campfires, and allegedly went back to find her, but couldn't because of heavy snowfall.

Four days later when he reached Highway 44, he hitched a ride into Susanville from a passerby, and let officials know Gullet was stranded in the forest.

Officials said the search proved difficult because Lonich was unfamiliar with the remote area. The California Highway Patrol flew the search area in a helicopter, but they were unable to locate the woman or the vehicle. 

Additional air searches were unable to be conducted due to inclement weather.

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On April 20, Justin rode along with a Sheriff’s deputy, and the search team located the truck. They said Gullet came out of the vehicle immediately. 

"She was very emotional, but physically okay," the Sheriff's sergeant said.

Gullet was taken to the Bogard Ranger Station to be evaluated by medical personnel. He shared a version of events that was the same as what Lonich said about how they became separated. 

During the six days Sheena was stranded, she rationed a six-pack of yogurt, eating one per day. She did not have any water and had been eating snow. 

She saw the helicopter fly over a few days earlier, but because she was in a heavily wooded area, they were unable to see her.