EXCLUSIVE: Woman lost in Wenatchee National Forest for eight days tells her story
WENATCHEE NATIONAL FOREST, Wash.- Search parties, drones, K9 units, helicopters, off road vehicles... it wasn't enough to initially find Kaylean Johnson who went missing near the Little Naches Campground Area.
"It was scary, I was trying to find where it was coming from and I yelled back but I don't know if they heard me or not,” she said.
Johnson and a family friend were in a motorcycle crash June 23, about 10 miles away from where the rest of her family was staying. They tried making their way back, but had to make camp for a night due to the man's health. After that she had to go out on her own.
"I went to go find water and help, but I couldn't find my way to the road," she said.
She spent the next seven days by herself. Walking through the forest and looking for anything that could help her get back to safety. Johnson was able to find water and followed the river to make sure she always had something to drink.
While Johnson was trying to find her way, family members were doing everything they could to help with the search. Her mother, Melissa Walker, set up camp in the area and said she would not leave until her daughter was found.
"I had it deep down in my heart that she was still alive. That's the one thing that kept me going. She's still out there. I feel it," Walker said.
With each day that passed, Johnson said she wished she could come home and there was song that kept her moving forward.
"'Jesus Take the Wheel' by Carrie Underwood. I sung that song the night that I went missing and when I got home it came on the radio and I fell asleep listening to it," she said.
Johnson's luck turned around when she heard a dog barking in the distance and she yelled out for help.
Matt Leonard was in the forest with a friend and said he heard something but was unsure what it was.
"But then I heard the second time she yelled, 'Can you help me?' and that's when I realized this is a person," Leonard said.
They immediately went down to help her.
"99 times out of a 100 nobody's there, we just happened to be there," Leonard realized how lucky they were to be at the right place at the right time.
Her rescuers took her to the Green Water fire station, which is miles west of where the search initially started.
After being alone in the woods for that long and making her way toward the Chinook pass, Johnson had only one thing to say from her experience.
"And I almost got to see my Seahawks," Johnson said.