SAN DIEGO COUNTY (CBSLA.com) — A Fullerton couple reported missing on Mother’s Day after they left a casino has been found on a Native American reservation in San Diego County, according to deputies.
The man was found dead and the woman was rushed to a hospital suffering from severe dehydration, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators confirmed the couple of 25 years was found at the Lost Valley Boy Scout Camp in the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. Deputies were notified at 2:30 p.m.
Cecil Knutson, 79, and Dianna Bedwell, 68, were last seen on May 10, when security camera footage showed them leaving the Valley View Casino in San Diego County around 2 p.m.
They spoke to relatives beforehand saying they were going to stop at the casino for a bit before heading to a barbecue at their son’s home in La Quinta.
Relatives contacted authorities when the couple failed to show up.
Knutson’s and Bedwell’s cell phones last pinged a few miles north of the casino, and then they were shut off.
The couple was last seen traveling in a white 2014 Hyundai Sonata which is outfitted with a tracking device that is similar to OnStar. Authorities said the tracking device was also shut off either because it was damaged or removed.
Family member Robert Acosta, who says the couple are his mother and step-father, discovered a break in the case on May 14. He tracked down security camera video of the pair’s Hyundai making a turn near the casino.
A group of volunteers called Team Amber had been searching the Valley View area.
It wasn’t until May 24 that several ATV riders came upon the couple’s car Sunday afternoon in a remote area of the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, only accessible by off-roaders. The Hyundai was resting at an angle on a muddy hill, under a tree.
Both Knutson and Bedwell were found inside the vehicle. Bedwell was conscious and coherent, and able to identify herself. Knutson had died, but it wasn’t clear at what point he passed away.
Investigators they don’t suspect foul play was involved.
“It looks like they were surviving on rainwater. There were cups around, they were drinking rainwater as it rained. They had been out there, for all indications, since May 10,” Los Coyotes Tribal Police Department Chief Dave Sossaman said. “It’s obvious they were walking around. There footsteps were spotted in the area and it appears they tried to walk out two different times.”
Bedwell told investigators they were living off oranges and pie that they were bringing to their son’s house for the Mother’s Day get-together. Both had diabetes and needed insulin shots.
She said they were trying to take a shortcut when they got lost.
Bedwell was airlifted to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says her health is declining.
“She had said that she doesn’t know she would do if anything happened to him,” the couple’s neighbor Donna Miller said Sunday night. “It is definitely mixed emotions, because we want to see them again.”