Lisa Theris, a 25-year-old radiology student from Louisville, was reported missing on July 23rd, and was believed to have gotten lost in the Alabama wilderness, after running away from the two men that she was with. Just one everyone had nearly given up hope that she was still alive, Lisa was spotted by the side of a rural road in Bullock County, by a woman who initially mistook her for a deer.
Judy Garner told police that was driving along Highway 82 in Bullock County, on Saturday, when she saw something moving in a bush, and thought it was a wild animal, probably a deer. The curious woman pulled her car over and went to investigate, only instead of an animal, she found a naked woman covered in scratches and insect bites. Her hair was matted, there was dirt embedded deep beneath her nails, and she looked like she had been living in the wild for a long time. The young girl told Garner that she had survived on berries and muddy water, and was so scared that she begged her not to leave her side.
“I started shaking. I was crying, I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do,” Garner told NBC News. “So I went over to her and asked her if she would stay there while I get water out of my van. She stayed, and I called 911 and told them I had found a girl on the road.”
The young survivor was soon identified as Lisa Theris, who had been reported missing over three weeks ago. The details of how she ended up in the Alabama wilderness are yet to be revealed, but it is believed that she was trying to run away from two men that she was with on July 23rd.
Manley Davis and Randall Oswald were arrested two weeks after Lisa’s disappearance, on charges of burglary and theft. They had broken into a hunting camp and stolen over $50,000 worth of goods. During questioning, the two men told police that Lisa was riding with them in a van toward the hunting camp, but after learning about their plan to break in and steal any valuables they found, she said she wanted nothing to do with it, and at one point jumped out of the car. They had not seen her since. This is just their side of the story, and police plan on questioning the girl about it as well, as soon as she is up to it.
Police say that Lisa escaped the two men at night, and ran into the woods. She is not familiar with the area so she went too deep into the forest and got lost. It’s safe to assume that she spent a lot of time going in circles, before finally finding a road. It’s unclear how Lisa Theris managed to survive alone in the woods for as long as she did, but a lot of people consider it a miracle.
Photo: Troy PD
“I’ve been doing this now going on 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. Her will to live is incredible,” Bullock County Sheriff’s Sergeant Chad Faulkner told WTVY. “I hate to classify it as a miracle but it’s a miracle.”
After being discovered, Lisa was taken to a nearby hospital, but has since been released into the care of her family. Although doctors reported that none of her injuries were severe, photos shared by her brother, Will, on Facebook, show that she was in a pretty bad state. Her body is virtually covered in scratch marks and bug bites, and she looks considerably thinner than before her disappearance. According to some sources, Theris lost 22 kilograms during her ordeal.
“She is severely weakened, she is in pain, she is emaciated. There is not an inch of her that has not been affected,” Lisa’s sister, Elizabeth, told WSFA.
“She is standing strong and full of jokes as ever. The next few weeks will be rough,” her brother, Will, added.