"Had they run out of gas the first day it might have been a different story," police said.
Following a miraculous rescue, two women with intellectual disabilities, who went missing for over five days, are now recovering. After getting lost on the road for five days, 51-year-old Kimberly Pushard and 50-year-old Angela Bussell were discovered on Sunday, February 26 inside their Jeep close to a remote snowmobile trail in Maine, per PEOPLE.
The friends shared with New Hampshire Police that they had left for a trip to The Maine Mall in South Portland on February 21, but got lost attempting to return home, Portland Press Herald reported. Then, over the course of several days, they traveled hundreds of miles to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and back to Maine, as authorities tried to track their location via their cellphones before they lost power. Early on February 22 morning, the family members of the two women, worried for them, reported them missing to Topsham Police authorities.
Fortunately, the women were captured on surveillance footage filling up at a gas station in Springfield, which gave the police a good lead to follow up. They also requested instructions to Interstate 95 south from the store's employee, per NBC Boston 10.
Then their Jeep was seen heading south toward Enfield, Maine, but it then seemed to vanish. Authorities feared the worst for the ladies as the area was battered by snow and temperatures fell to -15 degrees by late Saturday. However, on Sunday afternoon, a game warden told the Press Herald that he had discovered their snow-covered Jeep by "dumb luck" while searching a location that had not been allocated to him. "Those things don't always happen by chance," warden Brad Richard said. "I think it kind of was meant to be," he added.
The jeep's door creaked open when Richards tapped on it, revealing the two women inside—cold and starving but still, alive and well. They were without heat because their vehicle had run out of gas the day before. Additionally, there was a half-bottle of frozen Mountain Dew inside. Richard gave Pushard and Bussell some snacks from his provisions before telling them he had to go back and ask for help from other rescuers. "They only saw that one day in those extremely cold temperatures," said Richard about Pushard and Bussell's miraculous escape. "Had they run out of gas the first day it might have been a different story."
After the two ladies were found on Sunday afternoon, the Topsham Police Department posted the delightful news on Facebook. "It is with great pleasure that we announce the successful conclusion to the search for Kimberly Pushard and Angela Bussell!" the agency wrote. "Ms. Pushard and Bussell were located near Nicatous Lake in East Hancock Maine. Members of the Maine Warden Service are escorting Ms. Pushard and Bussell to awaiting medical services as this announcement is being posted."
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Topsham Police Department