Missing US hiker in Montana found safe after six days

Helicopter rescueImage copyrightTWO BEAR AIR
Image captionThe Chicago-native wanted to hike out with her rescuers

A woman missing for six nights in the Montana wilderness with nothing but her dog and a sweater was found by search crews.

Madeline Connelly, a 23-year-old from Chicago, and her dog Mogie had been missing in the Great Bear Wilderness area near Glacier National Park.

Apart from being hungry and tired, she was not injured and asked rescuers if she could hike back with them.

She was airlifted to a nearby hospital and has been reunited with her family.

Her family said that she is an experienced hiker, and that they knew she would eventually be found safe.

Michael Connelly, her father, told reporters that her first words to the people that found her were: “Can I hike out with you?”

They refused her request, and called for a helicopter rescue.

Ms Connelly said that she survived by drinking from streams and sleeping among dense trees.

“All I had was overalls, a sweater with a hood, a T-shirt, my dog’s leash, my dog and my car keys,” she said.

“I feel like an idiot, honestly, because it was just a huge mistake,” she said, explaining that she became lost at one point, but neglected to turn back.

Connelly and her dog MogieImage copyrightFACEBOOK
Image captionConnelly and her dog Mogie

“I was hiking about 10 miles a day,” she told local media.

“I had my dog with me. We rested for about two days because I just couldn’t move one day. It kind of snowed.”

Michael Connelly told reporters that he had continued sending text messages to her throughout the ordeal, “knowing she’s going to read all the texts I sent her, some of them are funny”.

“Some of them probably were a little emotional, but the whole time she would read them all. I knew she would.”

Ms Connelly was found about 5 miles (8m) from the trailhead.

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