Fla. woman rescued from storm drain after 20-day disappearance

The woman was found naked and disheveled inside the 8-foot deep drain

Michelle Marchante
The Miami Herald

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A woman missing for three weeks was rescued Tuesday after she was found trapped inside a storm drain just a few feet away from a busy Delray Beach thoroughfare.

She was naked and unable to stand on her own. Detectives are now trying to figure out what happened.

The bizarre rescue began early Tuesday during rush hour when a good Samaritan heard yelling coming from a drain on Atlantic Avenue and called 911, according to Delray Beach Fire Rescue.

Crews removed the grate to access the drain, which is about 8-feet deep, fire rescue said. They then used a ladder and harness to pull the woman out. Some crew members held a large white sheet around the drain to protect her privacy as she was pulled up.

The woman had several scrapes, was "dirty and disheveled" and could not stand to grasp the ladder, said Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Dani Moschella. She believes the woman was in her 40s.

"She couldn't stand on her own ... She's very lucky that someone heard her ," said Moschella.

The woman, wrapped in the sheet, spoke briefly with her rescuers and a few officers before she was taken to Delray Medical Center for examination, she said.

Moschella on Wednesday redirected all other inquiries to Delray Beach police, which did not immediately respond to the Miami Herald's request for comment.

Police have not disclosed the woman's name or age yet. They say she was reported missing to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office on March 3, according to CBS12, a TV station that covers the Palm Beach County area. The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to the Miami Herald's request for comment.

The woman told officers she was trapped in the storm drain system for "a significant time — perhaps days, perhaps weeks," Delray Beach police spokesman Ted White told WPTV, a TV station that covers the Palm Beach County area.

"The biggest question police officers have is how did she get into the drain, where did she get into the drain and how long had she been down in the storm drain system," he said.


(c)2021 Miami Herald


DBFR's Special Operations Team rescued a woman trapped in a storm drain Tuesday morning just a few feet from busy...

Posted by Delray Beach Fire Rescue on Tuesday, March 23, 2021


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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