Kimara Hughey, 24, had been missing for five days in Greenville, SC, when she was finally found alive in a ravine as reported by USA Today. It is a miracle Hughey survived her ordeal. But, unfortunately, the ordeal continues for Kimara as she lay recovering in an undisclosed location. Kimara fears for her life, according to Larry and Wendy Gaunt’s statement to Live 5 News.
Kimara’s Dad, Larry Gaunt boldly stated to Live 5 News, “She was placed in these woods and she was left there to die.”
Hughey’s boyfriend reported her missing when she wasn’t home when he returned from work around 9 a.m. on October 14. At that time, Hughey was last seen about seven hours earlier, around 2 a.m. in the area of “South Bleachery Road and South Franklin Road” as reported by Fox Carolina.
After days of searching with no success in finding Kimara, Belinda Martin with the Foothills Search & Rescue Team did not have high hopes, according to USA Today.
“With that time frame, we weren’t necessarily looking for someone who was alive.”
A group of joggers was enjoying a run on Saturday morning, Oct. 18 along the Swamp Rabbit Trail when they heard screaming. One of the runners, Shannon Sternberg, tells Fox Carolina that they weren’t sure where the screams were coming from, and at first, they weren’t sure if it may have been some kids playing, so they stopped to listen more closely.
It was then that the group heard the screams more clearly. Gaby Sanders describes what she heard to WYFF 4 News.
“She just kept screaming, ‘Help me please.’ It just sounded very distressed, something you normally hear in a scary movie.”
Runner Paul Myers followed Hughey’s screams and found her trapped in a briar patch located in a “heavily wooded area off Cedar Lane Road” which was approximately 75 yards from the trail as per USA Today.
Kimara had to drink pond water for five days in order to stay alive.
When the call was made to 911, Belinda Martin and her rescue team rushed to the location where they had searched a few times already without finding Hughey.
It was not an easy rescue. The Parker Fire Department had to cut through thick brush and even wade across the Reedy River to reach Hughey.
Martin tells USA Today what she saw when she arrived on the scene.
“It was like she was in a wall of briars. There was not a single spot on her body that did not have a cut or scratch on it. It was a wonderful blessing to find her after five days, still alive and that alert.”
Firefighters had to actually take turns carrying Kimara across the river after releasing her from the briars. She basically collapsed in their arms from weakness. Hughey was found only wearing shorts and a tank top and was not wearing any shoes.
Kimara’s parents, Larry and Wendy Gaunt were overjoyed at the news their daughter had been found alive. Wendy told Fox Carolina that she was actually on her way to pass out more flyers regarding her daughter’s disappearance when she got the call with the good news.
“Just knowing that she was alive and going to be okay was such a relief.”
However, the story doesn’t end there. Sheriff’s spokesperson Jonathan Smith reports to USA Today that due to the oddness of this incident, “investigators are trying to determine what did happen,” by questioning friends, family and neighbors. It is an on-going investigation.
While the Gaunts won’t elaborate on any of the details surrounding Kimara’s strange disappearance for fear of jeopardizing the case, both Larry and Wendy say they have confidence in the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office handling the investigation. They say that Kimara is recovering from minor injuries in addition to a broken leg, hypothermia and infections.
“She is very, very fragile right now mentally and physically. And she is so scared.”
Greenville County Sheriff’s Office also will not discuss any details at the present time.
Photo Credit: WBTV.com, WNEM.com