Survival skills save Conserve School student - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Survival skills save Conserve School student

 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

LAND O' LAKES (WAOW) -- Leaders at the Conserve School in Land O' Lakes called the police after one of their students went missing over the weekend. Police credit 15-year-old India Lodis Orman's survival skills with keeping her alive out in the cold.

Vilas County Sheriff Frank Tomlanovich said when people go missing, their biggest enemy is time. And a close second..?

"Obviously this time of year, weather conditions," said Tomlanovich.

Luckily, this past weekend they were able to combat both to find the girl who went missing from the Land O' Lakes Conserve school. Orman took classes at the Conserve School that taught her skills she'd need to survive in the wilderness.

"When she realized she was lost, she relied on some of the survival skills that she had been taught," said Tomlanovich.

Police said by the time they found her, she had wandered over the border and into Michigan. By that point, she'd been missing for more than 24 hours. Police said she built herself a crude shelter for the night. Search crews found Orman just two miles away from the Conserve School, far enough away that she couldn't figure out how to get back.

"You get in there and a lot of that terrain looks the same no matter which way you go," said Tomlanovich. "One hilltop looks pretty much the same as the next hilltop so it's easy to get disoriented."

Tomlanovich said students aren't supposed to go into Sylvania without one of the school staff members, but said Orman probably got turned around and ended up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

As of Monday night, police said she had returned to the Conserve School. Newsline 9 tried to talk to representatives from the Conserve School but they declined comment.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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