Lauren Weinberg, the Arizona University student who was stranded for nine days in her car under a heavy snow coat, was released from the hospital on Thursday.
I am so thankful to be alive and warm, Weinberg told the media through a spokeswoman at the Flagstaff Medical Center. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers, because they worked. There were times I was afraid but mostly I had faith I would be found.
The Associated Press reported via the Huffington Post that authorities are still uncertain as to why Weinberg, 23, drove to an isolated mountain area in Arizona during finals weeks.
Officials rescued Weinberg on Wednesday, after she left her mother's house in South Phoenix on Dec. 11.
Coconino County sheriff's spokesman Gerry Blair told MSNBC that Weinberg was driving around with no specific destination and that she drove south from Winslow toward the Mogollon Rim, this is a line of cliffs that separates the state's the desert from the state's high country.
Authorities told MSNBC, that the paved road turned into a dirt road and that Weinberg had stopped her vehicle at a fence line. Weinberg tried to move a gate and found that it was stuck in the snow, according to that news report.
Her car got stuck in the snow as well.
The undergrad had no heavy coat, blankets or gloves and only had two candy bars for food.
Weinberg was reportedly less than a mile from a ranch and she was located in an area that has cell phone service.
The Huffington Post reported that authorities said Weinberg said her phone wasn't working and that her car couldn't be seen from the ranch.
Workers reportedly had to plow through 10 inches of snow to get Weinberg out.
The Huffington Post reported that authorities and the U.S. Forest Service workers who found Weinberg said didn't have any reason to doubt her survival story.
You can say survival skills or a miracle, either way, said Phoenix police Officer James Holmes, whose agency was investigating her disappearance. But the good thing is she's home and safe.