Mystery of Kelly’s missing days

MYSTERY surrounds the circumstances that befell an American hiker who spent four days lost on the western tip of Donegal before she was found safe but disorientated in a vacant holiday home.

Mystery of Kelly’s missing days

Kelly Jones, 41, was located yesterday in the old rectory in Glencolmcille, 600 metres from the base set up by the search teams looking for her since the weekend. She was suffering from hypothermia and could not explain why she had not returned to the hostel.

She disappeared on Saturday and rescue teams had searched the house where she was eventually found, as late as Monday morning. Ms Jones was not there at the time.

The tourist was last positively identified at the Malinmore hostel where she stayed on Friday. A subsequent sighting on Saturday at 5.30pm has not been confirmed. She was seen by a doctor before she was flown to hospital. She had difficulty recalling how she came to the house, which had furniture, bedding and running water, but no food.

Garda sergeant Anthony Arnold said Ms Jones was very weak and did not know how long she had been in the house. “She was quite disoriented. The old rectory is about 200m from the Saturday evening sighting.”

Donegal Mountain Rescue team spokesman Brian Murray said the hypothermia could have affected her coherency.

“She is a very lucky lady she was found still alive. The conditions inside the rectory helped. But usually on mountain and hill searches, by the time you reach day five, rescuers start thinking they are looking for a body.”

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