Rescued California hiker fled knife-wielding man and ate cactus to survive in desert heat

PHOTO: Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, is surrounded by her family in a hospital on July 15, 2019, after going missing for four days in California.PlayCourtesy Powell Family
WATCH Rescued hiker fled knife-wielding man, ate cactus

An experienced hiker who went missing on Friday along with her small dog has been found alive after fleeing a man with a knife, authorities in California said.

The Inyo County Sheriff's Office said Monday that Sheryl Powell had been located alive by a ground search team near the Montenegro Springs area.

"Searchers describe her as resilient and strong but exhausted after being lost in an extremely remote area above Big Pine, CA. Mrs. Powell was met at the Bishop Airport by ambulance and will be taken to the local hospital for medical clearance. We are beyond grateful for the continued support from her family, local residents, visitors and the media. We also cannot thank our assisting agencies enough for their amazingly hard work in difficult terrain throughout this 4-day search," the sheriff's office said on its Facebook page.

PHOTO: Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, is surrounded by her family in a hospital on July 15, 2019, after going missing for four days in California. Courtesy Powell Family
Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, is surrounded by her family in a hospital on July 15, 2019, after going missing for four days in California.

Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, was camping with her husband Friday along with her small dog at the Grandview Campground in the Bristlecone Pine Forest area when he reported her missing to authorities.

Authorities said that after Sheryl Powell and her husband picked a remote campsite, she got out of the vehicle to walk the dog while her husband re-parked their Jeep.

When he finished, Sheryl Powell's husband could not find her or their dog, authorities said. After about an hour of searching on his own, he reached out to law enforcement via his satellite device, they said.

Searchers were into their fourth day of looking for her when she was found, the sheriff's office said. She located water and ate cactus to survive, traveling at night to avoid becoming dehydrated.

PHOTO: Sheryl Powells children, Farrah and Greg Powell, said they were worried because she disappeared with no food or water. ABC News
Sheryl Powell's children, Farrah and Greg Powell, said they were worried because she disappeared with no food or water.

On Monday, before it was announced that Sheryl Powell had been found, the Inyo County Sheriff's Office said that a dog "matching the description" of the Powells' had been found alive 2.5 miles from her last location.

Authorities had described Sheryl Powell as an experienced hiker, 5 foot, 3 inches tall, 120 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. The campground, at 8,600 feet, is the closest to the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.

On Monday, Sheryl Powell's children, Farrah and Greg Powell, told ABC News that their parents went on remote camping trips once or twice a month. Greg Powell said his parents had left on Friday and planned to return Sunday to have dinner at his home in Hermosa Beach on Monday.

"They liked to camp away from other people -- that's nothing new," Greg Powell said. "They had gone just under a mile on this dirt road past the main camp site, found a really nice site off the road there that they liked. So they pulled in front, facing forward to check it out. Both got out of the car, decided they really loved the camp site. And then they -- my mom and our dog Miley -- got out of the car to stand in the shade and my dad went down the hill, did a five-point turn and came up backwards on the hill so they could facilitate unloading the vehicle. When they (his father) came back, they were gone without a trace."

PHOTO: Missing camper, Sheryl Powell, is shown in this photo posted to the Facebook account of Inyo County Sheriffs Office. Inyo County Sheriffs Office/Facebook
Missing camper, Sheryl Powell, is shown in this photo posted to the Facebook account of Inyo County Sheriff's Office.

Greg Powell said that his mother had nothing with her when she vanished besides the dog and that she has a bad leg, making it hard for her to run fast.

Still, Farrah Powell said, her mother has a great sense of direction and is very resourceful.

"Our main concern for her is that she had nothing on her -- no water, no food, absolutely nothing," she said.