In an almost unbelievable tale of survival, a 44-year-old Hamilton woman was found naked in dense woods six days after disappearing nearby. Her car had been found idling with her purse inside on the I-295 overpass, early the morning of Sept. 2.
Her clothes gone, severely dehydrated, and covered with scratches and bug bites, Christine Rosie was found by a search team just yards from where that car had been found on the shoulder of Kuser Road.
While authorities are still trying to piece together what happened to her while she was gone for nearly a week and how she could have survived in the woods without an apparent source of food and water, Rosie's family is glad to have her back.
"I really don't know, there's definitely someone who was watching over her, that's for sure," Rosie's son Nick said, "If they didn't find her when they found her yesterday, they definitely would have found her not with us, not alive."
Police have not found any indication foul play was involved.
Witnesses who last saw Rosie that morning said she was ducking in and out of the treeline.
Authorities are still unsure whether Rosie wandered among the woods and power lines all six days or somehow left the area and returned later.
Nick Rosie, who said he's always been close with his mom, had received two calls from her around 3 a.m. the morning of her disappearance. Asleep, he hadn't answered, but the intervening days had left him wondering what his mother wanted to tell him.
"You have thoughts," he said, "think like maybe if I did answer she was going through something maybe I could have saved her, helped her, picked her up or something and who knows what could have happened."
With Rosie in serious condition at the hospital, police and the family were not able to immediately ask her questions about why she disappeared. But Nick is convinced his mom's new medication had something to do with it.
"She was on a new medication, she was hallucinating, seeing things, this new medicine was messing with her," he said.
Rosie also struggled with alcohol abuse, her son said, which led to a separation with her husband Thomas two years ago.
Rosie, who works for the state Labor department, had been living in Trenton about a year.
The search for Rosie brought police and volunteers alike out to scour the relatively small open space near the highway thick with dense underbrush.
She was finally found by a team from Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue the afternoon of Sept. 8.
The group said there was no indication Rosie had any shelter during the days of sweltering heat and could have died on her own in the woods.
"It's more than a miracle," Nick Rosie said of his mother's journey away from home in one place. "It's nuts!"