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Missing woman found alive in car down ravine near Seattle

| Friday, Sept. 28, 2007

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. -- A 33-year-old woman who had been missing for eight days was found alive Thursday in her car at the bottom of a steep ravine after searchers traced a signal from her cell phone.

Tanya Rider responded to her name when her car was found along a highway she commuted on in suburban Seattle, State Patrol Sgt. Dave Divis said.

King County sheriff's investigators used a cell phone signal to recheck a segment of the highway, State Patrol spokesman Jeff Merrill said. On Thursday afternoon they noticed some matted brush, and below it they found her Honda Element, smashed on its side.

"She looks very pale, very dehydrated. She didn't have a lot of cuts but had difficulty breathing," Merrill said.

Rider was taken to a Seattle hospital. Her husband, Tom Rider, said she was "fighting for her life," suffering from kidney failure and sores from lying in the same position for a week.

The Maple Valley woman was last seen Sept. 19 after leaving her shift at a Fred Meyer grocery store in Bellevue.

Her car tumbled about 20 feet down the ravine and lay buried below heavy brush and blackberry bushes. Rescuers had to cut the roof off to get her out.

Tom Rider said he was sitting down to take a lie-detector test at the sheriff's office so officers could exclude him as a suspect in his wife's disappearance, when officers told him the car had been found.

"I wanted to make sure they weren't focusing on me, that they were focusing on Tanya," he said.

Tom Rider had offered a $25,000 reward for any information leading to his wife's return.

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