Tamarac business owner rescues missing woman who was lost on camping trip


TAMARAC, Fla. – A missing woman was rescued after being lost in the wilderness for a week.

Michael Friedopfer described the moment when he found the woman in a hunting area in Glades County.

She became lost during a camping trip gone awry and spent seven days in the wild.

“She encountered bears, pigs, bobcats, she was getting burned by the sun, she had cuts all over,” said Friedopfer. “She was in rough shape.”

Friedopfer owns Epic Airboat Tours in Tamarac.

He is an avid outdoorsman and was on a hunting trip early Thursday morning with a friend when they heard an eerie sound.

“There was a girls voice screaming, ‘Help me, help me,’” he said.

Friedopfer said he called authorities, who told him they were aware of a missing woman.

“They said if you have access, to go in there please, go in and get her, she’s gonna die, she’s been out here a while,” he recalled.

Friedopfer went in and followed the sound of her screams.


“I said, ‘Can you hear me?’ she said yes,” he said. “She began to cry, and she asked, ‘Are you here to save me?’ I said, ‘Yes, I’m here to save you.’ She made her way up into somebody’s tree stand, which probably saved her life. She said that her and her boyfriend were initially camping on Fisheating Creek, and she woke up in the morning and he was gone. So she walked to find him, she walked on to our property and continued to walk the wrong direction.”

Michael Friedopfer is glad he was in the right place at the right time. (Michael Friedkopf)

The woman in her 30s was brought to safety, alive, despite her ordeal.

Friedopfer said he’s happy that he was in the right place at the right time.

“it’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “I mean life is such a precious thing and the fact that I was able to save hers means a lot to me.”

The distance from the camping site to the hunting ground is about 10 miles, which is how far that missing woman traveled while trying to find her way back.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating.

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