Questions Raised About Survival Story

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COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — We’re learning more about a Cottage Grove woman rescued Thursday after surviving nearly a week in the woods.

There are now questions circulating about why 52-year-old Sharon Bates went up on Mount David in the first place.

Cottage Grove police say Bates told a friend to take care of her dog if she didn’t return Saturday morning, and if they never heard from her she said, “Then I’ve gone home to the lord.”

Bates claims she survived nearly a week on Mount David in Cottage Grove after being stuck in a pit she couldn’t get out of, with no food and little water, not to mention sub-freezing temperatures and snow.

Some are asking if this was a suicide attempt.

“I believe that was probably her intent when she went up there. I think based on how happy she was to see us and how accepting she was of our help I think that at some point she had a change of heart,” said Cpl. Conrad Gagner.

Police say she tried multiple times to get out of the hole which is about 30-feet wide and at least 10-feet deep, but failed.

There are also questions about whether someone could actually survive that long under those conditions.

PeaceHealth leaders say the medical odds of survival are pretty slim.

For now Sharon Bates remains hospitalized, being treated for exposure and possible injuries from her multiple attempts to climb out of the pit.

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