A seven-year-old Colombian girl who went missing in the jungle nearly three weeks ago has been found alive after authorities received an anonymous tip off, officials reported.
The young girl, Jessica Patricia Arias, went missing in northern Colombia's natural reserve Tayrona Park when she was collecting coconuts with her parents.
After an 18-day air and land search by hundreds of officers, the seven-year-old was located after an anonymous tip off was made to the family and she was discovered in an abandoned hut in the jungle.
"There was an [anonymous] call to the family and the guard station. The police started searching, they arrived at the site and actually found the girl in a bad state in an abandoned hut," said Santa Marta police commander Colonel Sandra Vallejos.
Authorities do not know how the little girl arrived at the abandoned hut or how she survived her jungle ordeal.
Albeis Fuentes, a local official at the Magdalena region, told the media injuries on the girl's feet indicate she may have travelled long distances.
"She's stable, she's in a state of moderate malnutrition, in a state of moderate dehydration too with some lacerations on her feet, which I imagine from the long journeys she had to travel on these paths," he said.
Jessica's mother, Elena Cortes, was grateful to have her little girl back. She said: "God himself helped her to survive so many days. It's 18 days to the day since she went missing and she re-appeared on the 18th day. Thank you to God and the national police."
Authorities are investigating the girl's disappearance amid questions over the anonymous call to the police and how the seven-year-old survived in the jungle.