A good Samaritan encountered a woman stuck in a storm drain Tuesday, and discovered she’d been missing for three weeks.
What are the details?
According to a Wednesday
Newsweek report, the unnamed passerby heard screaming from a Delray Beach, Florida, storm drain.
When the passerby went to investigate the source of the sound, they discovered a naked woman trapped in the storm drain and immediately called authorities.
The Delray Beach Fire Rescue quickly arrived on the scene, where they had to remove a grate and utilize a ladder and harness to lift the woman out of the drain. The storm drain entrance, authorities noted, was also too small for an adult to fit through.
How did this even happen?
According to the
Miami Herald, the woman, who is 43 years old, went swimming in a canal near her boyfriend’s home on March 3.
“While she was swimming, she came across a doorway near a shallow part of the canal. She stated she entered the doorway and noticed a tunnel,” an incident report read according to the outlet.
The report noted that the woman became curious when she saw the doorway, and began walking down the tunnel. That tunnel led to the next “and so on until she became lost,” the Herald noted.
“The woman claims she was walking in the tunnels, lost, for about three weeks until she ‘saw some light’ and decided to sit there because she saw people walking by,” the Herald added.
Her boyfriend reported her missing after 9 p.m. on March 3 to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the outlet said.
No foul play suspected
The unnamed woman was transported to a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, including dehydration.
“She was lucky,” Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokesperson Dani Moschella told Newsweek. “I don’t know how much longer she would have been OK down there. The idea that somebody might be down there for any length of time is disturbing. It’s dirty, dangerous, there are snakes, rats, garbage, dirt and leaves, anything that’s on the street that washes into a sewer, and it smells terrible.”
The woman, Moschella said, was too weak to stand on her own without assistance.
Delray Beach Police spokesperson Ted White said that investigators do not suspect any type of foul play.
“From the police department standpoint, we don’t believe there was any type of crime committed,” White explained. “It doesn’t feel like she was taken against her will. It appears this was done by her own free will.”
History of mental illness and drug use
The woman’s identity had not been released at the time of this reporting, but her mother said that she suffers from an undisclosed mental illness and has a history of past drug use.
“The 43-year-old woman will now undergo a mental assessment,” the outlet reported. “Her mother told police she has a history of mental illness and is known for ‘doing odd things and making bad decisions when she is high on drugs,’ according to the report. Police said the 43-year-old is a Methadone patient and that her last dose was the day prior to her disappearance.”