Shannon Leah Fraser went missing on September 21. Authorities have now confirmed the 30-year-old mother was found alive in far northern Queensland. Although she lost nearly 40 pounds and suffered minor injuries, Fraser is expected to recover from the ordeal.
Authorities said Fraser, her boyfriend, and another man were spending the day at the Golden Hole recreation area. Although the details are unclear, Fraser became separated from the two men and vanished into the dense brush.
Queensland Police Inspector Rhys Newton said crews spent nearly 800 hours scouring the region. Unfortunately, Fraser remained missing for nearly three weeks.
On Wednesday morning, Shannon Leah Fraser stumbled out of the jungle. She was immediately transported to the Innisfail Hospital, where she remains in stable condition. Doctors said she will be released by the end of the week.
Interestingly, Fraser was found fewer than 100 feet from where she vanished. Although her appearance suggested she was indeed lost in the jungle, Inspector Newton said she “certainly was not in the area” that was searched.
As reported by Brisbane Times, there is no evidence “that she was elsewhere.” However, authorities have not ruled out foul play. Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said he hopes to interview Fraser about the ordeal following her release from the hospital.
During a brief interview, Shannon Leah Fraser said she survived on river water, small fish, and insects. Although she was approached by a crocodile, she managed to escape. The mother of three said she eventually found colored flags, which were placed by search crews. She followed the flags and emerged from the jungle without further incident.
As reported by the Courier Mail, Fraser was covered in black March fly bites and third-degree sunburns. This afternoon, she will undergo surgery to remove pebbles and splinters of wood — which are embedded in the bottom of her feet. Her boyfriend, Heath Cassady, said “her whole body is scarred and peeling.” However, she is thankful to be alive.
Fraser’s brother, Dylan, said he and his family have been “inundated with media requests” for an interview. However, they want to focus on Fraser’s recovery.
“She’s still in shock and traumatized. Shannon won’t be speaking publicly to anyone until she is feeling well enough. Doctors are still very worried about her physical and mental state after such a hectic ordeal.”
Shannon Leah Fraser is no stranger to surviving a life-threatening situation. According to her family, she is also a cancer survivor.