Young woman recounts weeks-long survival in Alabama wilderness

Lisa Theris was found naked and ill along an Alabama highway last Saturday.

August 17, 2017, 8:00 AM

— -- A missing woman thought to be dead emerged from the woods after 28 days, naked and visibly sick, but still alive.

Lisa Theris was last seen on July 18 and her family feared the worst.

Yet last Saturday a woman driving down a country road outside of Union Springs, Alabama, spotted her and called police.

"I just passed a road and there's a lady that, she came out of the woods naked and she's been sick. She's been in the woods for three weeks," the caller told 911 dispatchers.

Police thought the young woman had lost about 40 pounds and noted she had suffered deep cuts, bug bites, poison ivy stings and sunburn.

Theris told ABC News that she survived on eating berries, mushrooms and drinking puddles of water.

"If it rained I'd have to like squeeze the water out of my hair and drink it," Theris, a former waitress and radiology student, said.

PHOTO: Lisa Theris, 25, was rescued on the edge of an Alabama highway after surviving weeks alone in the wilderness.
Lisa Theris, 25, was rescued on the edge of an Alabama highway after surviving weeks alone in the wilderness.
ABC News

She went on, "It was all about finding the road or finding a person. I couldn't even hear any cars the whole time I was out there until the end."

Theris said she found a large walking stick in the forest that she said helped her make it out of the wilderness.

How the young woman ended up lost in the first place remains unclear. Neither Theris nor police have provided an explanation for how she got stuck in the woods, but officials said she was with two men she had recently met.

When asked if she thought she was drugged, Theris responded, "It would make sense -- but I'm not sure."

"I think I heard that may be so," her father, William Theris, added.

Theris admitted that around the time she went missing, she was supposed to appear in court on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. That case was dropped last Thursday when the court presumed she had died.

Police told ABC News they believe Theris survived in the woods, but say there's a lot more to her story.

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