Lost hiker found in Superstition Mountains

Lost hiker found in Superstition Mountains

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PHOENIX -

Pinal County Sheriff's deputies say they found a woman who was lost in the Superstition Mountains for over 24 hours.

51-year-old Robin Byrd was found safe just before midnight on Wednesday and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Byrd was described as an experienced hiker and took some cold weather gear with her when she started hiking the Peralta Trail on Tuesday. But PCSO says she wasn't expecting to stay overnight in cold temperatures.

She was supposed to be picked up at the trailhead at 6 p.m. Tuesday, but when she didn't show up, her friends called for help.

Deputies say the same woman went missing back in December in the same area while looking for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. Byrd is from Missouri, but is very determined to find the gold mine, so much so that she keeps coming back. She told friends that God told her where to find it.

PCSO Search and Rescue and posse members aided the search for Byrd.

Sheriff Paul Babeu says the efforts of searchers probably saved Byrd's life and he he hopes Byrd won't again hike alone in the Superstitions.

Crews had to search for her on foot because their helicopter couldn't go up due to the weather. The fog, driving rain, and low visibility made the search very hard.

Conditions were just about as bad as they could get for the rescuers. By mid-afternoon Wednesday, the rain stopped so the helicopter moved in – but then when the fog rolled in, the helicopter had to land because it was just too dangerous.

PCSO conducted two other separate rescues in the last two days.

A 39-year-old woman got into an argument with her husband on Tuesday night and was lost for two to three hours before being rescued.

In addition, three men went for a hike on Tuesday but didn't return by the afternoon. They were rescued early Wednesday morning after PSCO's Air Unit saw a light source near the trail.

This group says they saw Byrd and she gave them wrong directions to get to the trail.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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