Lyndsey Kennedy, 43, was rescued by firefighters from the Delray Beach Fire Rescue at around 9am on Tuesday after a passerby heard her screaming from the busy street above the drain.
Firefighters were able to rescue Ms Kennedy by removing the drain’s gate and using a harness to lift her out from the 8ft hole below.
Ms Kennedy, who had been screaming for help during rush hour traffic on Tuesday, was then taken to a local hospital for treatment after she struggled to stand without help.
Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokesperson Dani Moschella confirmed in a statement to Newsweek that the 43-year-old was found naked and covered in dirt by the firefighters.
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“The idea that somebody might be down there for any length of time is disturbing. It’s dirty, dangerous, there are snakes, rats, garbage, dirt and leaves, anything that’s on the street that washes into a sewer, and it smells terrible,” the spokesperson added.
On Thursday morning, local newspaper Boca Raton News released audio of the 911 call made by the passerby after obtaining it from the police.
The stressed woman can be heard in the recording saying: “There’s somebody stuck in a sewer over here,” as the 911 operator interrupts to ask: “I’m sorry?” before adding incredulously: “there’s somebody stuck in a sewer?”
During the frantic phone call, the passerby shouts down to Ms Kennedy to tell her that “the police are on the way”, before explaining to the operator that she heard the 43-year-old screaming while driving by in her car, subsequently finding her stuck in the sewer below without any clothes with her.
The passerby confirms that Ms Kennedy is not injured, as the operator frantically contacts the fire department to help rescue her before the recording cuts out.
Ms Kennedy was reported missing to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on 3 March, just less than three weeks before she was discovered.
After receiving treatment at a local hospital, Ms Kennedy told police that she went for a swim in a canal near to her boyfriend’s home on that day when she noticed a series of tunnels, according to NBC 6.
She told the authorities that after entering the tunnels and becoming lost, she found an area below the storm drain where she could see people walking above her.
Ms Kennedy claimed to police that she stayed in that position for three weeks and survived on a bottle of ginger ale she found.
Delray Beach Police spokesperson Ted White told Newsweek that the authorities are investigating the incident, but said that “from the police department standpoint, we don’t believe there was any type of crime committed.
“It doesn’t feel like she was taken against her will. It appears this was done by her own free will.”
The Independent has contacted the Delray Beach Police Department for additional comment and confirmation of the 911 call.
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