One Saturday in August 2017, Judy Garner was driving in her car on Highway 82 in Bullock County, Alabama, when suddenly she saw something unusual by the woodline at the side of the road. Concerned, the driver pulled over to investigate the strange shape, and what she discovered left her stunned.
At first, Garner had presumed that the figure was a deer, but what she actually saw was something very different – and extremely distressing. Garner later told NBC News, “I was crying, I was scared and I didn’t know what to do.” What she had found, covered in mud but otherwise naked, was a young woman.
The woman had in fact been at the heart of a missing person case. Her name was Lisa Theris, and she was 25. A former server at Hooters, Theris had been studying radiology at college at the time of her disappearance. She had, moreover, been missing for nearly a month, and her family and the authorities were very concerned. Accordingly, the police had been searching high and low for her, with their hunt spanning several counties.