MODESTO, Calif. – A kindergarten teacher missing from Modesto, California has been found alive, her father confirmed to KTXL.
Jamie Tull was found Friday morning by family and friends who went looking for her near where her car was found crashed in Merced County. She had been missing for nearly three weeks.
According to Tull's father, she has bipolar disorder. He says she had not taken her medication for about six months because a pastor and his wife told her that pills lead to demons.
Tull was about half a mile east of the crash site in Le Grand. Her phone was found near a water trough where cattle drink.
"We saw her moving," Tull's step cousin Lynn Garber said. "And we said, 'It looks like she’s alive,' and she says, 'I’m alive.'"
Tull's father said she was sunburned and dehydrated, but alert enough to speak. She was flown to a hospital in Fresno.
The three people who found Tull said she could barely move because of her severe sunburns. She is said to have survived by drinking from that trough and eating insects.
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said that when he arrived, Tull only wanted food and water. She said she was trying to get to Yosemite.
"I don’t think she had any insight or desire to be found. She was just trying to get to Yosemite," Warnke said.
Le Grand is more than 60 miles from Yosemite.
A volunteer search crew said if Jamie hadn't been found Friday, search efforts would have been scaled back.