A teenage girl who was feared dead after disappearing in bear-infested woods has been found in mysterious circumstances.
Fauna Jackson, from Ohio, was volunteering in the heart of America’s Grand Teton National Park, in a part of the woods branded “bear country”.
The sixteen-year-old, who has been described as a kind and budding young leader, left the group so that she could go to the bathroom, but never returned.
Rangers immediately began looking for the girl, but there was no sign of her in the area.
Over the next two days, more than 100 people scoured 310,000 acres of alpine terrain. Missing posters were distributed, dog teams were sent out and helicopters also took to the skies in search of the missing girl. Still nothing.
About 100 individuals continue search for missing person Fauna Jackson. This photo is from their morning briefing. pic.twitter.com/zRWBxwJlyv
— Grand Teton NP (@GrandTetonNPS) August 5, 2016
After 48 hours, Jackson finally showed up near the Snake River Overlook, approximately 3-4 miles from the point she was last seen.
However, she looked completely different than she did just a couple of days earlier and even tried to run away when approached.
A statement released by the National Park Service said:
Jackson changed her appearance by cutting and dying her hair.
[She] was wearing different clothes than when last seen, and when approached by law enforcement officials she fled.
Just a week before the trip, the 16-year-old shared a picture of a skull on top of a book titled ‘A Lesson Before Dying’, but her social media activity offers little to no clues that would begin to explain such mysterious behaviour.
An investigation has been launched to discover just what happened to the girl and how she managed to survive two nights in sub-zero temperatures.
Jackon’s stepfather told Fox 19:
Her condition appears to be good.
We’re just so happy to have our beloved daughter back.
No matter what happened or where she vanished to, the lucky thing is that she’s turned up safe and well.