RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Funeral services were held on Friday for a Fullerton man who was reported missing for nearly two weeks after he left a casino with his wife in San Diego on Mother’s Day.
Cecil Knutson, 79, and Dianna Bedwell, 68, were reported missing in May after the couple failed to arrive at their son’s home in La Quinta for a holiday barbeque.
The couple — together nearly three decades — was last seen leaving the Valley View Casino in San Diego County around 2 p.m. on May 10.
A preliminary investigation revealed Knutson and Bedwell attempted to take a shortcut after leaving the casino, but became lost.
They both suffered from diabetes and needed insulin shots; they were stranded for nearly two weeks in the remote area.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, ATV riders located the couple’s vehicle in a remote area of the Lost Valley Boy Scout Camp in the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation.
Upon their arrival, deputies located a white 2014 Hyundai Sonata resting at an angle on a hill under a tree.
Authorities said Knutson was pronounced dead at the scene. Bedwell was airlifted in serious condition to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido for treatment of severe dehydration and hypothermia.
“It looks like they were surviving on rainwater,” Los Coyotes Tribal Police Department Chief Dave Sossaman said. “There were cups around, they were drinking rainwater as it rained,”
Bedwell has been released from rehab since the incident occurred.
Funeral services were held at the Riverside National Cemetery Friday. It was the first time Bedwell spoke publicly about her late husband and their ordeal.
CBS2’s Tom Wait was in attendance.
“While we were out there – there was no anger, no animosity,” she said.
Even though she believed her husband was on the wrong road, she said she was not angry.
“I did not want him to feel any worse than he did,” she said.
During their ordeal she told him even if they didn’t make it out alive she was glad he was by her side. All they had was rain water, a pie, fruit in the car, and each other.
“I was so glad to spend the last moments, days of his life with me. I didn’t want to believe it but he knew – about an hour before he passed. He went so peaceful,” Bedwell said.
She told the mourners that they didn’t really suffer — the weather was mild and they were not attacked by wildlife.
“I prayed for safety, for my husband and myself and no animals came,” she said.
Knutson received military honors for his service as a U.S. Marine.
Attorney Gloria Allred who is representing Bedwell did not say if a lawsuit was planned.
Bedwell said she will continue to rehabilitate physically while she mourns her loss.