Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Missing tourist is found alive

Albert Chretien and wife Rita went missing en route to Las Vegas more than a month ago (AP/Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

A Canadian woman who survived for seven weeks on water and trail mix after getting stranded in a remote part of Nevada is recovering from her ordeal as a search for her husband continues.

Hunters on Friday spotted the van of Albert and Rita Chretien on a logging road in Elko County in north-east Nevada, according to a statement by the Baker City police force in Oregon.

Albert, 59, and Rita, 56, disappeared in late March during a trip to Las Vegas.

The woman told her son, Raymond Chretien, that her husband set off for help on foot a few days after their van got stuck in mud, while she stayed with the van. That was the last she saw of him.

"We're stunned," said Raymond Chretien. "We haven't fully digested it. This is a miracle."

Officer Dan Moskaluk, spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia, said Rita Chretien was at an Idaho hospital and reportedly walking around.

"Her family said she lived off water and small amounts of trail mix," losing 20-30 pounds during the ordeal, he said.

The Elko sheriff's office told the Elko Daily Free Press that the couple's vehicle was found in a ravine. The area is about a five-hour drive from Baker City.

The couple left their home in Penticton, British Columbia, on March 19, and reached Baker City in eastern Oregon that afternoon, where they were pictured on a store's surveillance camera.

Raymond Chretien said they made it to Nevada later that day and were sightseeing on back roads when their van got stuck in mud. Three days later, Albert Chretien set out on foot.

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