Woman Survives 7 Weeks Stranded In The Wilderness

Rita Chretien and her husband, Albert, had planned to spend a fun-packed week in Las Vegas in March.  Their family sent them on their way from their home in British Columbia, not expecting them back until March 30.  When they didn’t return as planned, their children raised the alarm. But they could not be found.  The Chretiens had vanished.

Until this past Friday, May 6, seven weeks after they disappeared.  Hunters on all-terrain vehicles stumbled across the Chretiens’ van on a remote, rarely used logging road in Nevada, where it had been stuck since March 20. They looked in the window, checking to see if anyone was inside, if everyone was OK. “No,” responded Chretien. “I’m not OK.” Weak and barely able to move, she had been alone in the van since March 22 when her husband set out with his GPS to find help. 

It turns out that instead of making their way to Vegas, the Chretiens had gotten trapped in the wilderness, a trackback from a wrong turn taking them even further off their path. They ended up on a series of remote logging roads, usually impassable in winter, where their van got hopelessly stuck. After two days in the van, Albert set out with his GPS unit to find help.

He hasn’t been seen since.

When Mrs Chretien was found, she had lost approximately 30 pounds and was extremely debilitated. She had survived on melted snow and some trail mix — snacks she had packed for the road trip. She spent her time reading books and writing in her journal and foraging for water and waiting for someone, anyone, to come along.

The hunting group scrambled to get assistance for Mrs. Chretien, who was soon airlifted to a hospital and is now in stable condition. She is expected to recover fully.

Local authorities have initiated an extensive search for her husband, attempting to locate him in the Nevada wilderness via horse, all-terrain vehicle and air. While the Chretien family is realistic about their father’s chances, they also realize that finding their mother was a miracle — and they’re holding out hope that there might be another one.

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Photo credit: MiguelViera on Flickr


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

a happy ending

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago

so sad... I am glad she is going to be okay, and my thoughts are with the family and the husband

Emily S.
Emily S.6 years ago

She should be making me a sandwhich not wasting her time in the forest. HAM AND CHEEEEEEEEESE

Ally T.
A P6 years ago

I hope they find him. My prayers go out towards their family.

Ann F.
Ann F6 years ago

sending thoughts and prayers

Carolanne Powell
C Powell6 years ago

Hope hubby id found & they both recover fully xx

Eva Adgrim
Eva Adgrm6 years ago

Oh I will send a pray that they will find him all safe to...I glad that Rita Chretien is soon with her family...

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley6 years ago

I'm glad that Mrs Chretien was found in time and is getting better. The family has my sympathies over Mr Chretien, although I hope that he too has survived.

Muhammed S.
Muhammed S6 years ago

I hope and pray that the her husband is found, its absolutely a miracle to have the lady alive in such conditions. Would really be happy to see their family getting together again.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

Hope her husband is found.