Kathleen Bautista, the 19-year-old woman who was found in the Cotter Reserve area (Friday, 11 September), west of Canberra after six nights alone and injured has issued the following statement…
Since I was found in the Cotter reserve area I have been in hospital recovering and reflecting on how lucky I am to be alive.
I want to sincerely thank ACT Policing, ACT Emergency Services, ACT Ambulance and Parks and Conservation for their absolute dedication in their search and rescue efforts.
Your commitment and professionalism saved my life and for that I will be forever grateful.
In particular I want to pay tribute to Detective Sergeant John Giles and Constable Lachlan Ryan who led the rescue and search teams. You are my heroes!
To the community and my close friends who gave out fliers and who offered support to my family, I say thank you. You wrapped your arms around my family at a time of need. Thank you all so very much for your enormous love, support and prayers. You guys rock!
To the staff of ACT Health thank you for looking after me and treating me with such care during this time.
To the media thank you for the role that you played in my search and rescue.
I understand the huge interest that you have in my story. However, I hope you will respect that as a family we are very private people, and as such we ask that you continue to respect our privacy.
There will be no one on one interviews, my only priority is my recovery and well-being.
I’ve been under a lot of stress lately and this experience has enabled me to take time to centre myself, be with family and loved ones, and focus on getting well and receiving the care that I need at the moment.
Because of this, I ask the media and the community to give me the time I need to get well and to please give my family the privacy we need at this moment.
(ACT Policing Facebook post)