Police Hoping to Resume Search For Man Missing in Wilderness

PHOTO: Rita Chretien was found alive Friday after surviving nearly seven weeks alone in the Nevada wilderness.
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Authortities hope to begin searching again for the husband of a Canadian woman who was found alive Friday after surviving nearly seven weeks alone in the Nevada wilderness.

Albert and Rita Chretien's van became hopelessly stuck in the mud miles from any major road in mid-March. On March 22, after days being stuck, Albert decided to go to find help.

Despite a search of three states and more than 3,000 square miles, there is still no sign of him. Authorities hope to resume the search today if weather permits.

Rita Chretien was found Friday by hunters.

At a press conference Sunday, the couple's son released new details about his mother's ordeal. Rita Chretien rationed the bits of food she had and drank melted snow to survive.

"She had a small amount of trail mix, which lasted a week. A teaspoon a day, a few fish oil pills and hard candy," said Raymond Chretien.

The 57-year-old Chretien built a fire pit near the van, but it was too wet to start a blaze. She huddled in her van, stuffing pages of an old phone book in the window cracks to keep the frigid air out. She spent those 48 days reading her Bible and other books.

"We were praying for a miracle, and boy, did we get one," Chretien said.

The couple's incredible journey began on March 19. They left their home in British Columbia for a 1,200 mile road trip to Las Vegas.

The last time they were seen together was at an Oregon convenience store, where a security camera caught them on tape.

They had taken the scenic route and ended up off a remote logging road in northern Nevada.

When nearly everyone had given up hope of finding either of them, hunters spotted the van with a white cloth tied on its antenna. Inside, was Rita Chretien.

She had lost 30 pounds and doctors said she was days from death. But her son said she looked pretty good to him, especially on Mother's Day.

"Honestly, I'd hardly know anything happened to her. It's beyond belief," said Raymond Chretien. "The search continues for my father, but in the meantime we are rejoicing that we are here today and are able to spend Mother's Day with our mother."

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