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‘Truly a Miracle’ | 72-Year-Old Woman Missing for 4 Days FOUND ALIVE After Car Falls Into Canyon


Canyon County Sheriff’s Office

Canyon County, IDAHO – (CCSO / News Release) – At approximately 11:40 a.m. [Dec. 9] , the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) received a call into dispatch from two men who had located a vehicle in the area of Map Rock Rd and Rim Rd while recreating near Melba. The vehicle matched the description of the vehicle driven by 72-year-old Penny Kay Clark, who was reported missing by the Nampa Police Department. Nampa PD reported that she had not been in contact with her family since Tuesday, December 5. The individuals who called dispatch reported that the vehicle appeared to have gone partway down the canyon wall at the south end of Rim Rd.

CCSO deputies arrived at the location a short time later. While surveying the area with binoculars from the canyon rim, deputies located Clark’s car approximately 200 yards down the canyon wall. Further surveillance resulted in locating Clark approximately 40 feet below the vehicle’s location in a ravine. CCSO deputies quickly determined physical movement by Clark, and immediately set up a command post. CCSO began working with Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue on a plan to rescue her. Multiple other agencies — Life Flight Network, Nampa Police Department, Upper Deer Flat Fire, Melba Fire, Canyon County Paramedics, and Idaho Fish & Game — were also dispatched to the scene to assist. Idaho Helicopter was also contacted and was prepared to send a helicopter to assist with the rescue operation, but it was determined that the quickest way to reach her would be on foot, so the helicopter was canceled.

At approximately 1:00 p.m., Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue members were able to reach Clark and determined that she was conscious and alert. Due to the terrain where Clark was located, CCSO and search and rescue personnel decided the most efficient way to get her advanced medical attention would be to stabilize her and carry her out to a location on Map Rock Rd where both Life Flight and Canyon County Paramedics were staged. It took search and rescue personnel approximately two hours to carry Clark from where she was found to the location where medics were staged. Clark was officially transferred to the ambulance at approximately 3:00 p.m. After initial evaluation by on-scene medical personnel, Clark was transferred to the Life Flight Network helicopter and was transported to an area hospital for additional medical care.

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“This is frankly one of the most miraculous incidents that I can recall in all my years in law enforcement, and it’s a true testament to the strength and fortitude of Penny Clark,” said Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue. “The medics who evaluated her on scene believe that she had been there for at least a couple of days, and more than likely since Tuesday when her family last had contact with her. It’s truly a miracle, and I’m hopeful that she makes a full recovery. I want to thank all of the agencies who assisted us today, particularly Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue, for their efforts in bringing Ms. Clark to safety. I’d also like to sincerely thank the two men who came upon the vehicle and had the wherewithal to determine that it was likely connected to the missing person reported by Nampa PD. This was a true team effort.”

Clark is currently being treated at a local hospital for her injuries. Her family is currently with her and has asked that people please respect their privacy at this time.

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No further information will be released.

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