Christmas time is such a wonderful period at the end of every year. It is full of family, food, laughter, and love. One of the most beautiful aspects of Christmas is the multitude of traditions seen across the nation. Every family has their own style of celebration, none of which are any less special than the last.

Just about every family shares a common theme, however. That sweet-scented, sometimes messy iconic symbol of Christmas time: the tree. Some families still go ultra-traditional and head out on a mission to find the perfect tree.

A group of people found much more than the perfect tree while out in the woods in Shasta County, California.

They trekked out into the wilderness in search of that evergreen masterpiece. The past couple of nights had been quite cold with scattered precipitation mixed in to add an extra chill to the air.

Then the group stumbled upon a dead, hollowed-out tree. The tree was not the Christmas tree they desired, but it was what, or who, they found inside the tree that peaked their interest.

Inside was a partially clothed woman, dirty, cold and clearly terrified.

The group called the authorities who quickly came to her aid. They asked the 25-year-old how she came to be holed up in a hollow tree, alone and naked in the woods.

Fred Sanderson

She told them about two acquaintances she had: Fred Sanderson and Johanna Knighten. The pair accused the young woman of stealing their drugs, an offense they were so sure she committed, their anger overtook all reason.

They kidnapped her, threw her in a van, and drove her 6 miles off the main highway. She had no idea where they were taking her as nothing seemed familiar to her terrified eye.  When they found a spot they were sure she could not return from, they stopped. Sanderson hit the young woman and the pair took all her clothes besides a pair of shorts.

Then they abandoned her and left her to fend for herself. She endured cold temperatures, rain, and snow. The hollowed out tree provided her with a marginal amount of safety and shelter.

All seemed lost until the group of holiday adventurers found her, no doubt saving her life! Police are keeping her identity private for now. Knighten has been arrested, but Sanderson is still on the run.

Be careful this holiday season, friends!

We are so thankful for that group of tree hunters! If you agree, please share!

Sources: USA Today and WMMR

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