THE MISSING woman pulled naked from a Florida storm drain this week claims she survived through her three-week ordeal on ginger ale alone.
When Delray Beach firefighters hauled Lyndsey Jane Kennedy, 43, up from below a sidewalk on Tuesday after a passerby heard her cries for help and called 911, they had one question for the Florida woman: how did she survive weeks below the ground?
Kennedy answered that question on Thursday, saying she found a bottle of ginger ale and kept drinking from it throughout her situation, according to WBPF.
Kennedy was reported missing weeks ago on March 3 in Palm Beach County, some 30 miles away.
She had been swimming in a canal near her boyfriend’s home shortly before she disappeared, the New York Post reported.
Kennedy, who reportedly has a history of mental health issues and drug abuse, told officers she came across a doorway near a shallow part of the canal and spotted a tunnel.
“She claimed that she became curious as to where the tunnel led and continued to follow it,” a police report reads. “That tunnel led to another tunnel and so on until she realized that she was lost.”
While investigators are unsure how long Kennedy had been in the drain for, she claimed to officers that she’d been stuck in the sewer system for approximately three weeks.
Police are still investigating Kennedy’s story, saying the storm drain she was found in does not connect to the city’s drainage system.
Instead, authorities are looking into a nearby canal close to a golf course where Kennedy was at her boyfriend’s home, adding they don’t know if she truly underground for the full three weeks she was missing.
According to the missing person report filed at the Sheriff’s Office, her boyfriend said he left her sleeping at 6:30AM on March 3 only to return home later that day and find her gone, leaving her cell and purse behind.
By the time she was rescued on Tuesday, Kennedy was unable to stand up, was completely nude, and “very dirty,” Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokesperson, Dani Moschella, told WPLG.
“She was lucky,” Moschella added. “I don’t know how much longer she would have been OK down there. The idea that somebody might be down there for any length of time is disturbing.”
“It’s dirty, dangerous, there’s snakes, rats, garbage, dirt and leaves, anything that’s on the street that washes into a sewer, and it smells terrible.”
Pictures from the scene show her covered with a white sheet, with leaves in her hair, and she appeared too weak to stand up without assistance.
A spokesperson for Delray Beach police called the incident “by far one of the most bizarre incidents that our officers have responded to.”
Images captured by local media showed police and firefighters hoisting the woman out of the drain near along Atlantic Boulevard on Tuesday morning.
To pull off the bizarre rescue, authorities used a ladder and harness to drop down into the drain and retrieve her.
Moments earlier, a passerby had called 911 to startlingly report there’s “somebody stuck in the sewer.”
“There’s a lady stuck in the sewer, yes … she can’t get out, she’s screaming for help,” she told dispatchers.
After rescuing Kennedy, police described her as being “very lucid” during an interview and did not meet the requirements to be temporarily institutionalized under the state’s Baker Act.
Officers did however call the woman’s “rendition of events” strange.
Kennedy was taken to the Delray Medical Center to be treated for her injuries and for her mental health to be assessed. She has since been released.
Police don’t suspect any foul play and believe she must have accessed the drain from a different entrance of her own volition.
“From the police department standpoint, we don’t believe there was any type of crime committed,” spokesperson Ted White told the Sun Sentinel. “It doesn’t feel like she was taken against her will. It appears this was done by her own free will.”
Investigators did also contact Kennedy’s mother, the Post reported. She told officers her daughter has a history of mental illness and regularly uses narcotics.
“She also stated that Kennedy has a history of doing odd things and making bad decisions when she is high on drugs,” police said. “It was also found out that Kennedy is a methadone patient and she had her last dose on [March 2], a day before she was reported missing.”
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White theorized the woman appeared to have been stuck in the drain for at least a couple of days, “perhaps longer,” he added.
A small crowd gathered at the scene of the rescued clapped and cheered as Kennedy was pulled to safety.
“She claims that she’s been in the storm drain for a significant amount of time,” White added. “The biggest question is how long she has been in there, how did she get in there and why?”