Father, 2 Sons Freeze to Death on Hiking Trail
Dad rejected a ride back to lodge
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 15, 2013 5:50 PM CST
Stock photo of a hiker.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – On a weekend trip that was a surprise anniversary gift for his wife, an outdoors-loving Air Force veteran ventured out with two of his sons for a hike on a remote trail. Clad only in light jackets and sweaters, the three apparently didn't know how rapidly the weather would turn ugly, and that proved deadly. Searchers found the soaked bodies of 36-year-old David Decareaux and the two boys—ages 8 and 10—on the Ozark Trail on Sunday, a day after Decareaux declined a passerby's offer of a ride back to the lodge where they had been staying, said the local sheriff. The cold killed them.

Only the family's 4-month-old yellow Labrador retriever survived. He was found near Decareaux, who died at the scene, and the two boys, who were declared dead at a hospital after hours of efforts to revive them failed. It was nearly 60 degrees Saturday morning when Decareaux and his sons set out on the popular trail in southeast Missouri. They were ill-equipped as the temperature sank into the 40s and a storm that would drop 2 inches of rain set in, making the trail all but impassable. A passer-by spotted the hikers more than three hours into their journey and asked if they needed a ride back, but Decareaux declined. "They just missed their turn back to the lodge," the sheriff said. "When it's dark you can't see the back of your hand."

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Father, 2 Sons Freeze to Death on Hiking Trail is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 52 comments
Jan 16, 2013 1:38 AM CST
It's amazing how rabid the liberals become when they smell death or fear, the comments below are disgusting, don't even look.
Jan 15, 2013 11:47 PM CST
Comments from stupid American males, as lost as this guy who killed two kids with his "can do" arrogance.
Jan 15, 2013 11:10 PM CST
45 years of hiking, backpacking, and wilderness canoeing (Deliverance) tell me that this was not a well planned outing. First of all at a bare minimum you all wear good thermal underwear. In your day pack for a quick outing, you have a 12x12 waterproof rain fly as they are very light to carry and you can put one up between a couple trees in no time in the form of a tent. Also include a nice 12x12 piece of plastic to sit on. To go with that is a nice length of parachute cord. It would be easy to also take bottled water, energy bars, emergency blankets, first aid kit, and a small gas stove for quick heat. The kids each have their own pack so you can distribute the weight around. Kids can usually carry 1/5 of their weight without any trouble.