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A woman abandoned her three young children during along State Route 87 south of Payson Tuesday night and was found the next day roaming the highway naked, the Arizona Department of Public Safety reported.

The Department of Public Safety said it received a call just before 10:30 p.m. that a 27-year-old woman and her three children were stranded on the highway after their vehicle ran out of gasoline in a remote area 24 miles south of Payson.

Troopers arrived and found three girls, ages 1, 3 and 4, alone inside the car but unharmed, officials said.

The Department of Public Safety said the girls appeared to be in good health as officials waited for medical personnel and the Arizona Department of Child Safety to respond.

The Department of Public Safety joined the Gila County Sheriff’s Office and Payson Police Department to search for the woman as strong monsoon storm that moved into the area, officials said. She wasn’t found. 

At about 6:30 a.m., Wednesday, a passer-by reported seeing a naked woman wandering in the northbound traffic lanes of SR 87, 2 miles from where the girls were abandoned, the Department of Public Safety said.

The woman was identified as the mother and was taken to a hospital for medical evaluation.

The investigation continues; further details were unavailable.



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