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Yes, we've heard similar stories before -- people blindly following the directions given by a piece of technology, without consulting a map or using common sense in the process, allowing themselves to be led into danger and, sometimes, even death. Remember the Nevada couple who got stranded for three days in the Oregon desert after they followed directions from their GPS device? Soon after that, an Oregon couple spent about 12 hours stranded in the Northwest's Cascade Mountains with their 11-month-old daughter. Lucky for them, those stories had happy endings. For the Chretiens, though, theirs appears to be a tragedy.
On Friday, May 6th, 56-year-old Rita Chretien was found barely alive -- yes, seven weeks after getting stuck -- by a group of hunters on ATVs who themselves had made a wrong turn on the confusing network of Forest Service roads. Her husband, however, is still missing, having set out on foot on March 22nd to walk more than 20 miles to find help, hoping to make it to Mountain City.
Two of the men who found Rita rode nearly ten miles on their ATVs to get cell service and called Elko County dispatchers. Listen to the 911 tape....
Rita Chretian survived by rationing trail mix and hard candy and drinking from a nearby creek. She lost as much as 30 pounds during that time and would not have survived much longer.
Sgt. Kevin McKinney of the Elko County Sheriff's Department, which is leading the continuing search for Albert Chretian said, "Many of the roads are just washed out, covered from rock slides, and there are deep pockets of drifting snow."
For more on this story and the continuing search, read:
Canadian Woman Found Alive, Husband Still Missing
Woman Who Was Stranded for Weeks Leaves Hospital
Teams Seek Man Whose Wife Survived Seven Weeks in Bush