Portage, Mich. — A 16-year-old from Portage is recovering Friday night at Bronson Hospital after possibly spending nearly 24 hours outdoors and in the woods.
She was moved to the ICU from the ER at about 5:30 on Friday.
Marissa Barry had been missing since Thursday afternoon.
Utility-water workers found her in a wooded area near a cul-de-sac about a mile from her home Friday afternoon.
They said they saw the trees moving strangely and they went to investigate.
Detectives said the workers found Marissa there, leaning against a tree and called police.
They said she was alert and talking, but wasn’t able to articulate very well, possibly due to her body temperature and lengthy exposure to the cold.
It’s presumed that she somehow walked into the wooded area at some point after she got home from school early Thursday.
Family members say Marissa left Portage Central High School at around 1:45 December, 12, following a confrontation with a friend.
Her mom said according to school employees, it was an emotional situation for her.
Carie Barry said her daughter also suffers from anxiety and depression and that increased her concern.
Marissa had left her wallet, keys and phone at the home when she disappeared.
Her stepfather Chuck Hoehn said she was in good spirits Friday night after she was brought in.
He said she told hospital workers and her family that she was hungry and thirsty.
He said she was found in an area that may have been difficult to see, despite the use of helicopters and ground crews.
Hoehn said he’s ‘not sure if she spent the entire night in the woods area yet.
He said she has had a difficult time describing what happened during her disappearance, possibly due to hypothermia or exposure to the elements.
Hoehn wanted to thank all of those who stepped in to help in the search.
He said having her back home is the best Christmas present the family could ask for.