Searchers scour northern Nevada for Canadian man

Mon May 9, 2011 7:57pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Searchers have found no sign of a 59-year-old Canadian man whose wife survived seven weeks stranded in the Nevada wilderness, authorities said on Monday.

Albert Chretien and his wife Rita Chretien, 56, were traveling from Boise, Idaho, to Jackpot, Nevada, on March 19 when their van got stuck in the mud on a primitive forest road in northern Nevada.

Albert Chretien has not been seen since he went for help three days into the ordeal, carrying a cell phone and hand-held GPS device.

Rita Chretien survived by drinking water from a nearby stream and rationing a small supply of trail mix, candy and a fish oil-based skin product until she was found on Friday by hunters looking for antlers.

An air ambulance flew Rita Chretien to a hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, on Friday as rescue crews began scouring the scrublands and rugged hills of Nevada's high desert to search for her husband.

Elko County Sheriff Jim Pitts, whose office is heading the search, said rescuers are holding out hope of finding her husband somewhere in the 6.3 million-acre Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

"You really don't know what his chances are and I'd hate to say one way or another given the very amazing survival story of his wife," Pitts said.

Searchers on horseback and ATVs were being aided by a helicopter and search-and-rescue dogs on Monday as crews on foot sought to retrace the route Albert Chretien may have taken to reach Mountain City, Nevada, about 20 miles to the southwest.   Continued...