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Missing Nevada family: 2 adults, 4 kids survived subzero temps by heating rocks

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A missing Nevada family was found alive on Tuesday after having been stranded for two days in subzero temperatures in Nevada’s wilderness. The Nevada family went missing on Sunday, and wilderness survival experts believe that their survival is due to having made all the right decisions, reported CNN on Dec. 10, 2013.

“In a search involving 200 people, rescuers finally located the family on Tuesday after they had gone missing two days earlier during a playful outing in the snow in mountainous northwest Nevada.”

The missing Nevada family -- 34-year-old James Glanton, his 25-year-old girlfriend Christina McIntee, their two children Evan and Chloe Glanton, and their niece and nephew, Shelby Fitzpatrick and Tate McIntee, – had set out on Sunday for a fun family trip into the snow near their hometown of Lovelock in Nevada's high desert.

While on the road, however, the Nevada family’s silver 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee lost track on the road, rolled over onto one side, and went down an embankment. The jeep landed upside down in a crevice about 15 miles from Lovelock and would not start up again. Since there was no cell phone reception, the two adults and the kids “ages 10, 4, 4, and 3,” were stranded.

After their Jeep had rolled over, the stranded family members removed the spare tire and started a fire using wood and brush. They placed rocks inside the tire and heated up the rocks to keep the children warm. During the night, the children slept with the heated rocks in the Jeep.

By Monday, the family had run out of food, but the kids just figured they were camping and kept up their spirits.

After the Nevada family was discovered to be missing, Civil Air Patrol, Washoe County Search and Rescue, Fallon Naval Air Station, Nevada National Guard Lakota helicopters, the state Division of Emergency Management, and dozens of volunteers searched for them.

The Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, used its cell phone forensics experts to pinpoint more specifically where the missing Nevada family might be located.

The search for the missing Nevada family by modern technology, foot, cars, planes, and helicopters came to an end on Tuesday around midday when one of the Civil Air Patrol crew members spotted the family’s silver Grand Cherokee. At the same time, one of the volunteer searchers spotted the family members with binoculars.

When the six missing Nevada family members were found, all were in good spirits. "The littlest girl was telling me about a cartoon and the boys were asking me if I had more snacks in the truck,” said one of the rescuers.

“The six were taken to Pershing General Hospital, where about 100 well-wishers lined the street and broke into cheers when two of the smallest children were taken from an ambulance. Others walked into the hospital on their own,” reported CBS.

The key to the missing Nevada family’s survival is being attributed to having stayed by the Jeep, having stayed together, having used rocks to keep warm, having stayed in good spirits, and having told someone where they had intended to go.

Survival expert Joseph Teti said the adults "made all the right decisions. It's the little decisions that add up to an enhanced chance for survival in brutal conditions.”

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