PENTICTON The wife of a man whose remains were found in the Nevada wilderness a year and a half after he went for help says shes grateful he walked 11 kilometres when their van got stuck in the mud.
Rita Chretien said she and her family will be even more grateful this Thanksgiving now that her husband Alberts remains have been found by two elk hunters.
She said shed tell him: Thank you for your efforts. I know he did it for me and I was so grateful.
Chretien said Tuesday that shes also grateful to everyone who helped search for her husband, whose remains were found Saturday.
It was a great joy and relief to know that he was there and obviously had rested in peace, and it was such a comfort to know that his body was not ripped apart by wild animals.
Chretien said she had come to terms with the fact that her husband would not return.
I think I can really say Ive had closure for a long time but this was just really nice, to have that tangible evidence of how he passed away.
The couple had been heading to a trade show in Las Vegas but took a wrong turn, and their van became stuck. Chretien ventured off in the snow to try and get help.
His body was found in a heavily wooded area of Merritt Mountain, and police identified him through items in his pocket.
Two hunters found the backpack Chretien left the van with and then hiked up further and discovered his body, fully preserved.
Police and volunteers had conducted dozens of searches in the vast Nevada area around where Chretien disappeared with a GPS and got lost, and the latest search was done just two weeks earlier.
Rita Chretien survived for 49 days in the couples van and was found near death in the rugged mountains of northeastern Nevada by hunters aboard ATVs.
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