Lyndsey Kennedy: Naked Florida woman rescued from storm drain after getting lost in sewers for THREE weeks
A naked and disheveled woman was rescued from a storm drain in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by the Delray Beach Fire Rescue Department, three weeks after she was reported missing. The woman was identified as 43-year-old Lyndsey Kennedy and her screams were heard by a passerby from underneath a grated drain near Atlantic Avenue and SW 11th Avenue. Kennedy was hospitalized following her rescue.
According to CBS, Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Dani Moschella said, "Traffic was rushing by and she was on her phone when she heard somebody screaming. When she looked down in the storm drain, there’s a woman down there." The fire rescue crew removed the drain's grate to get to Kennedy, who was naked. The crew members also said that she could not stand on her own. Moschella said, "She wasn't wearing any clothes, she was dirty and disheveled."
DBFR rescued a woman trapped in a storm drain Tuesday morning, removing a grate and using a ladder and harness to raise her to ground level before transporting her to a local hospital. A passerby called 911 just before 9 a.m. @DelrayBeachPD is investigating. pic.twitter.com/EFFBlj4h1U— Delray Beach Fire Rescue (@DelrayBeachFire) March 23, 2021
According to reports, Kennedy told police that she went for a swim in a canal near her boyfriend's house on March 3. While swimming, she said she came across a doorway near a shallow part of the canal and went through the door and spotted the tunnel. She said she followed the tunnel which led to another tunnel, and then another. As she was exploring the tunnels, she said she realized she was lost.
According to the police, Kennedy had been reported missing on March 3 by her boyfriend. On Tuesday, March 23, she said she saw light and people walking past after having walked around the sewer system for three weeks and screamed for help. It is unclear whether investigators have confirmed Kennedy's story.
According to reports, police reports stated that Kennedy appeared to be coherent and was not needed to be taken into custody as per the Baker Act -- a Florida law that allows people with mental illnesses to be held involuntarily for up to 72 hours in a mental health treatment facility if they meet certain criteria. The act can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, doctors, or mental health professionals.
The police also contacted Kennedy's mother, who said that her daughter has a history of mental illness and is a frequent user of illegal narcotics. She added that her daughter has a history of doing odd things and making bad decisions while she is high on drugs, according to the police report.
A mental health evaluation was done on Kennedy following her mother's statements; the police report said Kennedy was "very lucid" when she was found. The report also stated that Kennedy is a methadone patient, and had her last dose on March 2, the day before she was reported missing. Methadone is a prescription opioid used to treat addiction to heroin and other narcotic painkillers.
While Kennedy was taken to a nearby hospital after she was rescued, reports say that sources close to the investigation claimed that Kennedy had been released from the hospital.
Delray Beach Police spokesman Ted White said that the initial investigation showed no signs of foul play, stating, "It doesn't feel like she was taken against her will. It appears this was done by her own free will."