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Maine Warden Service releases more details about finding Topsham women

Officials said the women spent Saturday night in their vehicle with no heat and outside temperatures of approximately 15 degrees below zero.

HANCOCK COUNTY, Maine — Maine game wardens said they located two Topsham residents, Kimberly Pushard and Angela Bussell, on Sunday after the pair had been missing for about five days.

Their families told police they are intellectually disabled, easily disoriented, have trouble processing information, and are prone to being confused by directions. Police also said both women take medication for high blood pressure, and they didn’t have their medication with them.

In an updated release Monday, the Maine Warden Service provided more details about the circumstances that led to the women being found.

Officials said the women were located around 4 p.m. Sunday by Game Warden Brad Richard, who was traveling by snowmobile on an unplowed road in T40 MD, which is in Hancock County near Nicatous Lake.

Richard told NEWS CENTER Maine he had finished his assigned search section and turned onto the remote logging road after believing he may have seen faint tracks on the road, which was blanketed by recent snow.

When the women were located, they were in Pushard's vehicle, a red Jeep Compass, which had gotten stuck and run out of gas. 

Richard said he stopped, turned off his snowmobile, and prepared himself to find the women dead inside. Instead, Pushard opened the driver's side door.

"I said, 'Kim?'" Richard recalled with a smile. "She goes, 'How did you know my name?' I said, 'We've been looking for you.'"

The two women had spent Saturday night in the vehicle with no heat and outside temperatures of approximately 15 degrees below zero, Richard said.

Credit: Maine Warden Service

Richard radioed for help. When emergency crews arrived and loaded the women into a side-by-side ATV, the veteran warden stood outside the door and the smiling trio took a photo.

The women's journey started Tuesday, when they reportedly attempted unsuccessfully to drive to the Maine Mall in South Portland but never returned home. They made it all the way to Massachusetts later that day before turning around and ending up in Exeter, New Hampshire, where they made contact with law enforcement officials who gave them directions home, but the directions did not work.

Their last known sightings, caught on camera, had been in northern Maine in the area of Lincoln and Springfield. The last sighting prior to them being found was at the Marden's in Lincoln at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, and additional video footage indicated they traveled south on Route 155 toward Enfield afterward. 

On Saturday, officials searched the Burlington and Lowell regions using a Maine Forest Service helicopter and Maine Warden Service aircraft, trucks, and snowmobiles.

On Sunday, the search expanded south and east of Burlington, and it was Sunday afternoon when the women were found. They were taken by Howland Ambulance to Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln for medical evaluation.

Back where it all began, Topsham Police Chief Marc Hagan sat at his desk and began placing press releases, headshots, and reports into a folder. He had been coordinating the searches since day one.

"We don't get a lot of happy endings with us, usually, it seems like," he remarked. "So, this is pretty cool."

A happy ending to an unplanned adventure.

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