A collective sigh of relief could be felt from the Oroville community on January 15 when the Butte County Sheriff announced they had located 68-year-old Paula Beth James, who had been missing for nearly a week. The Oroville local had been found in her Toyota 4Runner in the Butte Meadows area stuck and buried in the snow. She was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
A Silver Alert was issued after James was reported missing on January 9 and Butte County officials had spent more than 100 hours looking for her. With her vehicle tracks covered by snowfall and her vehicle buried, it was like finding a needle in a haystack for search and rescue officials.
“We knew if we were going to find her and find her alive, we were going to have to do it really quickly,” said Butte County Search and Rescue official Dan Newman to KRCA. “The vehicle had a lot of snow on top. On top of that, being a silver car, it doesn’t really have any contrast against the snow.”
James’s SUV was found covered in snow about 150 yards off Skyway in Butte County, approximately three miles from Bambi Inn. When the search and rescue helicopter located the vehicle from the sky, they landed and hiked in the deep snow to find her in good spirits in her vehicle.
A great ending to this otherwise scary situation. Great work from Butte County Search and Rescue officials!