Jennifer in the Woods

Here is a true story of something that happened on our patch in the spring of 2006…

With an imminent frost, I walked down to Dorothy’s house to get some old flower pots. The plan was to turn them upside down and put them on top of the tomato plants in our garden to keep them from freezing.

As I opened the doors of the red shed, I heard a high voice in the distance. It sounded a little like, “Help!” but since there are kids who live in that direction, I thought it was them. I moved over to the grey shed and found a couple of coffee cans that would also work, and was about to leave when I heard a more distinct, “Help! Heeeellllpppp!” Still not sure what it was, I looked around the corner and see if anyone really did need help, then walked over to see a girl, about 20, laying on the ground in the woods about 100 yards north of the shed.

“What’s going on here?” I asked.

“I can’t move my legs,” she answered. She was dressed in sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt, and sneakers. She had no visible signs of injury, nor were there any signs of a struggle or accident of any kind.

“How did you get here?” I asked.

“I was in a ditch. I don’t know.” I asked her name, and she said it was Jennifer.

I approached cautiously. When it seemed clear, I called 911 and put my coat over Jennifer and asked her some more questions.

“I’ve had mental problems,” she explained. She didn’t know where she had been, and could not explain to me how she got from her house to a ditch. The last thing she claimed she could clearly remember was watching television the night before and going to sleep. She was also unable to iterate why her legs wouldn’t move. She claimed to live at “515”, which is the property to our north, but didn’t seem to have any idea where she was. She seemed to think she had been on the ground there for about four hours.

Within a few minutes, several Ponotoc County deputies, Chickasaw Lighthorse Police officers, Byng Fire-Rescue units, and EMS arrived. They asked her all the same questions I did, and she gave them similar answers.

They examined her and found that aside from being very cold, she was not injured, and coaxed her to her feet. Dan Randolph, a deputy and Byng Fire’s Chief, gave her a ride, presumably home.