Florida woman missing for weeks found trapped, naked in storm drain

A Florida woman who had been missing for weeks was found naked inside a storm drain Tuesday, baffling local officials who are trying to determine how on earth she ended up there.

Firefighters rescued the unidentified woman after a passerby heard her crying for help right by a busy road in Delray Beach, authorities said. They had to remove a heavy grate and use a ladder and a harness to pull her to the ground, the city’s fire department said in a Twitter post.

“She was lucky,” Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Dani Moschella told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“I don’t know how much longer she would have been OK down there,” Moschella said. “The idea that somebody might be down there for any length of time is disturbing. It’s dirty, dangerous, there’s snakes, rats, garbage, dirt and leaves. Anything that’s on the street that washes into a sewer, and it smells terrible.”

Delray Beach fire rescue officials rescued a woman who was trapped inside an deep storm drain.
Delray Beach fire rescue officials rescued a woman who was trapped inside an deep storm drain. (Delray Beach Fire Rescue)

Authorities said the woman was weak and delirious and had dirt and leaves all over her body. She also had some minor injuries and was not wearing any clothes, officials said.

The woman, who may be in her early 40s, was taken to a hospital for treatment as police continue to investigate the incident. It’s still unclear how long she was trapped inside the drain, but she was reported missing on March 3.

“From the police department standpoint, we don’t believe there was any type of crime committed,” Delray Beach Police spokesman Ted White told the Sentinel. “It doesn’t feel like she was taken against her will. It appears this was done by her own free will.

“The biggest question is how long she has been in there, how did she get in there and why?” White said, adding that police suspect the woman may have gotten there by crawling from another location.

“It’s pretty difficult to get into a storm drain where she was found,” he said. “You’d have to pull up that huge heavy grate. This is one of the most bizarre situations our officers have ever experienced.”

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