Missing Family Found Alive After 2 Weeks


Senior Member
Missing Family Found Alive After 2 Weeks

Mar 22, 5:15 AM (ET)

By JOSEPH B. FRAZIER ( http://apnews.myway.com//article/20060322/D8GGI7QG3.html )

GLENDALE, Ore. (AP) - A family that disappeared more than two weeks ago after leaving for a short trip in an RV was found alive Tuesday in a remote area of southwestern Oregon.

Two adults were found after they left the RV, which had gotten stuck in snow, to seek help. Hours later, rescuers located the others and they were reunited in Glendale, about 80 miles north of the California border.


The group left Ashland on March 4, along with Stivers' mother and stepfather, for a trip across the mountains to the coast, which normally takes a couple of hours. A relative reported them missing March 8.

Officials said the six had apparently taken a shortcut, instead of taking a well-traveled route to the coast, and then gotten stranded in up to 4 feet of snow.

"We thought we'd take the scenic route," Elbert Higginbotham, Stivers' stepfather, told KGW-TV. "Every time we took a corner, it seemed like we took a wrong corner."

At one point, the RV slid off the road and got stuck. The family tried unsuccessfully to dig the vehicle out by hand, he said.

They sustained themselves on snow and dehydrated food they had loaded up for the trip, he said, and had enough propane to keep the RV heated.

"I'm so proud of my family. They stuck together. They didn't lose it," Higginbotham said.

Stivers, 29, and his wife, 31, decided Monday morning to go seek help - leaving with a tent, wool blankets, tuna and honey, Higginbotham said. On Tuesday morning, workers from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management found them.

Rescue workers in a helicopter later made contact with the other four, said Sgt. David Marshall, spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Department. A snow machine was sent to pick them up.

After the family was reported missing, rescue teams from Oregon and California scoured the two closest routes from Ashland to the coast.

But police didn't know exactly where they had been heading, and they eventually called off the search when there were no leads.

At the time, police said family members did not answer calls to their cell phones, and the bank accounts of all four adults had not been touched since March 4.


Senior Member
Missing Family Found Alive After 2 Weeks

This reminded me of a recent experience that Sallyberetta and I had in our Minnie. Remember that here in Texas we are mostly surrounded by flat and open space, but you can get into the "woods" occasionally. We were looking at real estate at a lake that was new to us. It was in a small county that just didn't fund the road improvements, so there was a lot of dirt roads. Most of them wound around left and right until we would come to a small subdivision where people had purchased land on the lake.

Now me, I like to navigate with the GPS. It shows me a map of the roads, but not much detail on the type of roads. So, eventually we found a road that started getting more and more narrow with trees growing up on the fence line and hanging over. I was moving further and further over to the left just to keep from scratching up the paint job.

It got me to thinking about how far I can back up as the road narrowed to almost one lane. Now Sallyberetta doesn't get along well with maps, but she took this opportunity to look at the road atlas and remind me, "This road dead ends right up here!" right about the same time that an old beatup pickup truck came around the next bend. Sigh.

Luckily, there was a farmhouse at the bend for the pickup to pull in to, and my GPS was much smarter than the road atlas, but we got squeezed further on that country road than I would have been comfortable in backing out of.