A 16-year-old girl has been found safe two days after the plane in which she was traveling disappeared. The girl, Autumn Veatch, was traveling with her step-grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman, from Montana to Washington on July 11 when their private aircraft disappeared.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Only Has Minor Injuries
Some time on the afternoon of July 13, Veatch got to a gas station after being picked up by a driver in Mazama, Washington. She says she was walking for two days. From there, she was able to notify authorities. She was taken to a local hospital but does not have any major injuries, reports KIRO TV. The owner of the store were Veatch called for help said she was in “remarkably good shape.” A separate employee, Henry Clay Tennis, told the Bellingham Herald, that paramedics put Veatch on a stretcher but that she was okay. Investigators have called her survival miraculous. She credited the survivor TV shows that her dad made her watch. Rescue workers commended her knowledge in following the river until it led to a trail.
2. The Fate of the Plane Is Still a Mystery
The fate of her step-grandparents is thus far officially unknown. KIRO TV reports that Veatch was able to give enough information to rescuers so that they were able to discover the exact location of the plane. According to Q13, the last viable contact anybody had with the passengers was a cell phone ping that disappeared at 11 p.m. on July 11. That signal sent rescuers to picked up in Omak, Washington. The 1949 Beech A35 was registered to Leland Bowman. Both he and his wife, Sharon, are residents of Marion, Montana.
3. The Aircraft Would Have Encountered Storms
KIRO-TV’s Morgan Palmer confirmed that there were heavy storms in the area at the time of the plane’s disappearance on the evening of July 11. Their plane took from from western Montana at around 4 p.m. local time, it was scheduled to arrive in Lynden, Washington, at around 7 p.m. When the plane never showed, a family member raised the alarm. Veatch had been in Montana visiting her mother, reports the Seattle Times. The paper was quoting family friend Chelsey Clark who added “She’s an amazing, witty, creative, loving human being. She loves art, she’s amazing at drawing, she loves music, and she’s a quirky, sarcastic girl.”
4. She Works at a Wildlife Rescue
According to her Facebook page, Veatch is a student at Sehome High School and works in wildlife rescue, particularly with sea birds. She’s a resident and native of Bellingham, Washington.
5. She’s an Award Winning Photographer
In 2013, she won an award for this photograph. It’s a hobby that, judging by his Facebook page, she picked up from her father, David. He had earlier told KIRO TV that he only found out that his daughter was on the plane when it was reported missing. David Veatch added “I just, I really don’t like those smaller planes. I’ve been on them before. They’re scary. They don’t feel safe.”