The parents of a missing Pennsylvania woman are traveling cross-country in search of their daughter more than a month after she leapt out of a moving car en route to a psychiatric hospital and ran away.
Nancy and Bill Bachman reached Utah on Wednesday night and asked residents to help search for 37-year-old Susan Bachman.
She last was seen July 11 at a truck stop near Gary, Indiana, Nancy Bachman said. A security guard there reported Susan Bachman had gotten a ride in a truck and wanted to go west on Interstate 80.
Susan Bachman’s journey began in Pennsylvania on July 4, when she agreed to check into a psychiatric hospital because of "suicidal tendencies," her mother said. But during the drive there, Susan Bachman began to express fear that staff at the hospital would hurt her.
"She got very, very delusional," Nancy Bachman said.
Near the town of DuBois, Susan Bachman jumped out of the car while it was moving at least 45 mph, Nancy Bachman said. Susan Bachman got up off the ground and ran into the woods. A farmer nearby found her in his barn, disassembling her phone and emptying her purse of identification cards, Nancy Bachman said.
Susan Bachman fled again, and no further sightings were reported until early August, when the Bachmans asked Pilot Flying J to email Susan Bachman’s photo to all of their stores. Four employees in Gary, Indiana recalled seeing a woman who looked like Susan demanding a ride west from truck drivers, Nancy Bachman said.
She told a security guard she had no ID, and the guard noticed scabs and bruises on her body — likely suffered when she jumped out of the car, Nancy Bachman said. After she refused his offers to call police or a doctor, the guard told her to leave, and she walked toward other truck stops in the area, the family reported.
Armed with the new information, the Bachmans have set out on I-80, stopping in towns along the way to get word out to local media. They’re joined by a documentary filmmaker their son hired to record their trip and post updates to the search website, FindSusanBachman.com. A feature-length documentary is in the works, said the filmmaker, Evan Dimitriadis.
Pennsylvania State Police have confirmed that they consider Susan Bachman to be in danger. Nancy Bachman said she has "had moments of just not connecting to reality, then floating back into reality."
"I don’t know if she can survive out there, being in the state she was in," Nancy Bachman said.
Susan Bachman is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall, 140 pounds with green eyes and red hair. Her parents ask anyone with information to e-mail them at FindSusanBachman@gmail.com.
"If Susan has established a new life for herself, we will certainly support her," the Bachmans wrote on their website. "We just want to know that she is alive and safe."
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