A Missouri hiking trip turned deadly for an Air Force veteran and his two sons when the weather rapidly changed, but Bear, their 4-month-old Labrador, never left their side.
While on an anniversary trip with his wife, David Decareaux, 36, and his sons, 10-year-old Dominic and 8-year-old Grant, left for a hike on the Ozark Trail on Saturday. It was nearly 60 degrees, and they were clad in only sweaters and light jackets.
As the afternoon wore on, temperatures dipped into the 40s and a storm dropped 2 inches of rain on southeast Missouri, making the trail impassable.
Although Decareaux was carrying a cellphone and a flashlight, both of the devices lost power, according to reports.
At one point, a passer-by saw the hikers, who were more than three hours from where they were staying at Brushy Creek Lodge, and offered them a ride, but Decareaux declined.
More than 50 volunteers began searching for Decareaux and his sons Saturday night, but the search was called off in the early morning hours because of flash flooding. By then, temperatures had dropped into the 20s.
Searchers found the hikers’ drenched bodies Sunday morning. The only survivor was the family's yellow Labrador, still beside them.
The Reynolds County Sheriff’s Department said the three died from hypothermia.
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