A missing Alabama woman has been found alive after being reported missing nearly a month ago, according to Alabama NBC affiliate WSFA.
Lisa Theris’s father was last in contact with her on July 18. For the past month she had been living off berries, mushrooms and water from streams, lost in the dense forest of rural Alabama after fleeing the scene of a crime she wanted no part of.
Police previously told WSFA Theris was in the company of two men; Manley Davis, 31, and Randall Oswald, 36, when the men broke into a hunting lodge in Midway, Alabama. Officials say she had no idea the men intended to commit a robbery, and not wanting to be an accessory to a crime, the 25-year-old radiology student ran away from the men into the nearby woods.
According to Daily Mail, the theft amounted to $40,000 worth of items, including four-wheelers, ATVS, and chainsaws.
Davis and Oswald were arrested earlier this month and charged with burglary. They were also initially considered persons of interest in Theris' disappearance. Each man implicated the other as being the last to see her alive, however, neither claimed to know her whereabouts. Both men were held on $250,000 bail.
Theris’ father reported her missing on July 23, and local law enforcement agencies and members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service conducted an extensive search effort in the ensuing weeks to find her. Then, last Saturday afternoon she was spotted on a deserted stretch of road. “A motorist from Florida was driving 82 east of Midway and saw something moving in the bushes,” said Bullock County Sheriff Raymond “Buck” Rogers. “She went back and there was the young lady in the wooded area. She called us and told us she had located the missing person."
Theris had survived for almost four weeks, living off her wits and her will to survive and see her family again. Unfamiliar with the area, she had become lost soon after running into the woods on the night of the robbery, often going in circles due to the disorienting effects of hunger and dehydration, and eventually losing 50 pounds, over a third of her body weight. "She was drinking water out of a brook and eating berries and mushrooms,” according to Sheriff Rogers. “The bugs had really been on her and she had a lot of scratch marks,” he added.
Lisa Theris has so far declined to speak about her ordeal. While questions remain about what exactly happened, Sgt. Chad Faulkner, lead investigator on her case said, “She’s alive and that’s all that matters at this moment.”
Lisa’s family is also overjoyed at her return. “Words cannot describe the happiness and relief we feel that she has been found and returned to us,” said her sister, Elizabeth Theris. "We are lucky that she is alive, she is so strong and has made it through so much.”
[Photo: Facebook/ Will Theris]