Couple, Dog Found Alive After 10 Day Search In Snow

A couple and their dog stranded for 10 days in southwestern Utah survived by using matches and a can of carburetor cleaner to start fires at night after being trapped in heavy snow.

Thomas and Tamitha Garner were discovered Wednesday by a snow
plow driver after hiking 15 to 20 miles from their truck, Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower told The Associated Press.

"They've been hiking since Monday," Gower said.

The couple were taken to Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City, where they will be kept overnight.

"They look tired and exhausted, but considering the circumstances, look incredibly well," said hospital spokesman Ethan Shumway.

Doctors checked the couple for dehydration and possible frostbite, but things look good, Gower said.

"As far as we can tell right now, they'll have no permanent injuries," he told the AP.

The couple were on a trip to photograph wild horses.

They were last seen Jan. 26 at a gas station in the eastern Nevada town of Panaca.

They had left their home in the Salt Lake City suburb of Kearns two days before and relatives called when they hadn't heard from them.

When the Garners ran out of food, they started walking out of Modena Canyon, about 60 miles west of Cedar City, and came across a snow plow driver near the Iron and Beaver County line.

Gower said the couple were dressed in jeans and light coats.

The Garners' dog, a Basenji mix named Medusa, was in "great shape," Gower said.

There had been an intensive air and ground search by Nevada and Utah authorities that failed to spot the couple or their truck.

The area was blanketed with snow and some parts were accessible only by snowmobile.

Family members said they were ecstatic to hear of the rescue.

"We're gonna kiss them and caress them and then give them a piece of our mind," said Gerald Garner, Thomas' father, on his way out the door to Cedar City, about 250 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Leroy Davenport, a rescuer involved in the search, died Sunday.

Authorities believed he may have been exhausted after having to dig
his snowmobile out of deep mountain snow on Saturday.

Ange Garner, Thomas' sister-in-law, said the couple had learned of Davenport's death and planned to attend his funeral Thursday.


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