Taylor Gammel: Sleepwalking Colorado teen found 9 miles from hom - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Taylor Gammel: Sleepwalking Colorado teen found 9 miles from home

PICTURE BY KUSA VIA NBC NEWS CHANNEL PICTURE BY KUSA VIA NBC NEWS CHANNEL

ARVADA, Colo. - (KUSA/NBC) A Colorado teen is back home a day after she somehow managed to travel 9 miles while sleepwalking.

Sometime in the middle of the night, Taylor Gammel left her home in Arvada, Colo., and ended up 9 miles away -- wearing only sweatpants and a t-shirt.

"She did not have shoes. No phone, no money, no purse, no anything. She got up and walked out of the house,” said Mark Techmeyer of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

The sheriff's office received a call around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday from the girl's father, who said his daughter wasn't in her bed and has a history of sleepwalking. 

Law enforcement brought in a bloodhound to track her scent and followed it for three miles to a 7-Eleven store, but that's where the track went cold.

"People can do some pretty scary dangerous things sleepwalking, and they're kind of only partially aware of what's going on," said psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel.

Wachtel said when people sleepwalk, their eyes are open and they are in a dream state. A witness told deputies they believed they saw Taylor at a bus stop but didn't know if she got on.

"She has no recollection of being on a bus, and she had no money on her," said Mark Techmeyer with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Three hours after she was reported missing, her cousins found her asleep on their couch in the nearby town of Westminster, Colo. She was safe but she doesn't remember how she traveled so far while sleepwalking.

Experts say it is best not to wake up a sleepwalker, but to instead gently guide the person back to bed.

If a sleepwalker is suddenly awakened, the person could get scared and become violent.

Courtesy: NBC News Channel via KUSA-TV

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