Missing Maple Valley woman found alive near Index

She was in stable condition after bloodhounds found her about 1.2 miles south off U.S. 2.

By Erik Lacitis / The Seattle Times

STEVENS PASS —More than a week after being reported missing on Highway 2, Gia Fuda, 18, was found alive but needing hospitalization Saturday afternoon by search and rescue crews, said the King County Sheriff’s Office.

She likely hadn’t eaten during that time, although she got water from Scenic Creek where she was found by a steep ravine thick with brushes.

It was about 1.2 miles south off the highway from where her car was found out of gas near Index in the Cascade foothills, said Sgt. Ryan Abbott.

He said Fuda was in stable condition.

But, he said about what the rescuers encountered, “They were not able to talk to her. All she said was, ‘I don’t know where I am.’”

He said Fuda might have walked a much longer distance to try and get gas. Bloodhounds had tracked her scent 1.75 miles westbound from her car. But then, said Abbott, “for some reason she turned into the woods.”

He said rescuers first found Fuda’s car keys, some clothing and a Bible along the creek.

“Several hundred feet up the ravine, they located her, seated on a rock right on the creek,” said Abbott.

He said Fuda was reunited with her parents, who were in the area for the search.

Kristin and Bob Fuda, said Thursday that they had dinner with their daughter on July 23 at their Maple Valley home.

The next morning, they said, she left the house around 8 or 9 a.m. without mentioning where she was going, although her parents said that wasn’t out of the norm. When she didn’t return and they hadn’t heard from her by that night, they called the police.

“She’s very lucky,” Abbott said about the young woman. “We’re absolutely thrilled.”

Early Saturday evening, Kristin Fuda updated her Facebook page.

There was no text, simply an earlier photograph of her smiling daughter.

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