Couple missing for 2 weeks found in California wilderness

AP News
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Posted: May 25, 2015 2:32 AM

WARNER SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — A couple missing for two weeks were found Sunday in a remote part of San Diego County with the elderly husband dead and his wife severely dehydrated, after surviving on just rain water and some food, authorities said.

Cecil Knutson, 79, Dianna Bedwell, 68, were found near a Boy Scouts camp on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation near Warner Springs, sheriff's Lt. Ken Nelson said.

Knutson's body was near a white car and Bedwell was inside the vehicle, he said.

They were last seen leaving the Valley View Casino in Valley Center, about 25 miles west of the wilderness camp, on May 10. Authorities said the two were planning on going to their son's home in the Palm Springs area for a Mother's Day dinner but they didn't show up there or return to their home in Orange County.

They were driving a 2014 White Hyundai Sonata when they visited the casino.

Bedwell, who was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition, told investigators they were looking for a shortcut when they got lost and stuck on a rugged road, Nelson said.

Their disappearance led to several ground and aerial searches of the back country. On Sunday afternoon, several people in off-road vehicles found the couple.

Bedwell said she survived on rain water and some food that was in the car. Nelson said investigators had a "very limited" conversation with Bedwell, and weren't able to ask how or when Knutson died.

The two were apparently diabetic, he said.

"It would be difficult for someone in good health to survive being in the wild for that long, let alone someone like her," Nelson said. "It's close to a miracle that she survived."

Knutson and Bedwell were both retired school bus drivers and were married for more than 25 years, the Orange County Register reported.

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Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune, http://www.utsandiego.com