Woman lost 9 days in Arizona forest wrote 'help' in sticks

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A woman lost in an Arizona forest survived for nine days by drinking pond water, eating plants and spelling out "help" on the ground with sticks.

The state Department of Public Safety says the sign helped lead rescuers to 72-year-old Ann Rodgers in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.

"That air rescue helicopter landed, I just sat down and bawled," said Ann Rodgers.

She went missing March 31 as she headed to visit her grandkids in Phoenix. Her car ran out of gas and was found three days later, leading to an exhaustive search.

"And Tiffany the female officer who came to me immediately out of that helicopter, grabbed me, and held me while I cried," said Rodgers.

Authorities found her dog April 9, and a flight crew spotted a "help" signal made of sticks and rocks on the ground. Rodgers had left the area, but she was found nearby after starting a signal fire.

Rodgers was rescued in fair condition and has been released from the hospital. Her dog was found safe by a ranger who spotted the pup wandering down a forrest road.