How SOS Written On A Remote Driveway Saved Missing Woman
A South Australian woman who was found alive after four days missing has thanked the retired police officer who spotted her SOS written in his driveway.
Deborah Pilgrim was found alive near a small town, four days after she wandered off from a campsite.
Pilgrim, 55, has told how she became lost for three days in remote scrubland at Sedan, about 100 kilometres northeast of Adelaide.
"I went out for a walk in the bush, and before I knew it, I didn't know where I was," she said after returning home on Wednesday.
"There's no roads out there, dense scrub, if you go off in another direction it just gets thicker and thicker."
Pilgrim, was reported missing by friends she was camping with on Sunday, sparking a large scale search of the remote area around Sedan.
Concerns for her welfare grew as police and SES searches failed to find any sign of her for three days.
"I thought somebody's gonna think I've been kidnapped or something because it's not something I would do."
Authorities had planned to return to the area on Wednesday for the fourth day of searching, but a breakthrough late on Tuesday night led police to another property in the area.
Neil Marriott, a retired police officer who owns a bush block at Sedan, had been regularly checking CCTV cameras remotely, in the hope he might spot something that could help find Pilgrim.
While reviewing the footage on Tuesday night, Marriott noticed the phrase 'SOS' has been scrawled onto the driveway of his property.
He immediately alerted police, who began searching and located Pilgrim at another property, about a kilometre away, where she had access to water.
"There was SOS, written in the ground, which wasn't there the day before. So I put two and two together and called police," Marriott told ABC Radio Adelaide on Wednesday.
"I'm so pleased she was able to find water because I feared the worst for her, I really did."
Remarkably, police say she's in good health and was taken to a local hospital just as a precaution, before being discharged and allowed to go home.
"To the man that saw that first SOS, I'd really like to thank him for doing something about it," Pilgrim said.
"I'd just like to thank all the emergency services," Pilgrim's husband, Harry, added.
"We just met so many people that searched, general people, business people, neighbours... we just thank everybody for everything that they've done."
Feature image: South Australia Police