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Authorities estimate cost of massive manhunt for Ole Miss student

It's without a doubt, Victoria Hudson's family hugged her tightly when she was reunited with them.

Posted: Jul. 9, 2018 7:55 PM
Updated: Jul. 10, 2018 9:09 AM

CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - It's without a doubt, Victoria Hudson's family hugged her tightly when she was reunited with them.

The entire community nearby seemed to help anyway they could in the search that took over tens of thousands dollars, according to authorities.

"Grateful, she was happy."

That's how Fire Chief Ken Wilbourne described 23-year-old Hudson Monday morning.

She met with him and the sheriff. Wilbourne says he was ecstatic when he got the news she was found Saturday.

At one point the student stayed in a deer stand that had a heater.

"She basically carved into a deer stand. This deer saved my life," explained Wilbourne. 

It was a search that included helicopters, kayaks and four-wheelers.

"Tens of thousands of dollars. I don't know the cost of the aircraft, the sheriff's department," said the fire chief.

For Hudson it was a battle against the elements.

"Very high grass, lots of thorns, lots of samplings very impassable," commented Wilbourne.

Some residents wondered why the 23-year-old didn't turn back the way she'd come.

"It‘s really kind of remote in a way," said Jack Elliott. "But it's not remote, it‘s close to everything, and that's kind of amazing to me."

Having been outside drinking creek water and even tracking her way back to shelter with Ziploc wrappers, the fire chief told Hudson "she's meant for something special."

The Ole Miss student is scheduled to begin basic training according to Wilbourne.

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