Rainwater and Oranges


Staff Writer


On Monday, November 28, 2016, an elderly couple from California was finally found after an excruciating two weeks in a secluded part of the San Diego County. Throughout the two weeks they ate oranges, pie, and drank rainwater in order to survive; however, that was not enough to save the seventy-nine year old husband.


Sunday afternoon, off-roaders reported that they found a dead body, who was identified as Cecil Knutson, with his wife, Dianna Bedwell, who is 68. They were found near a Boy Scout camp on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, which is about sixty-five miles northeast of San Diego. The sheriff’s lieutenant, Ken Nelson, stated that Bedwell was not able able to inform the authorities about the day her husband died because she suffered some memory loss.


Bedwell told authorities they were trying to take a shortcut back to where their 2014 white Hyundai Sonata was parked, but they got lost in the area. Their car was hidden by trees and surrounded by bushes making it impossible for the helicopters that were conducting aerial searches to see anything, Nelson said. Eventually the couple found their car, but had no way to get out of the area they were in. Knutson’s body was near the car and Bedwell was sleeping inside the vehicle, he said.


“They were really off the beaten path, we were really surprised that the vehicle they were driving, a sedan, was even able to get out there, it was so rural that it took two weeks for off-roaders to even find them,” Nelson stated on Monday.


The family of the couple asked for privacy in a post on a Facebook page made to help with the search. “Please continue to keep the family in your prayers,” it said. With no further comments on the page.  


Unlike the rest of the family, Robert Acosta, Bedwell’s son, talked to the local media briefly. “We loved them so much and I can’t even begin to understand the grieving process,” he the local San Diego news station. “There is no doubt in my mind that my dad kept my mom alive … He was a marine and a hero.” He continued.  “I’m just so concerned with my mom right now,” Acosta added to the Orange County Register. “To be in the middle of nowhere for two weeks is a lot given her age.”


The last thing that Bedwell told authorities is that they collected rain water in cups and scavenged out oranges from the surrounding area as far as they could walk without getting even more lost. On their last day they finished a pie that they had got from the casino they were last at before getting lost.


Bedwell is still being hospitalized and has not spoken with anyone, including her family, since the ten minute interview when she was first found. The husband and wife were also diabetic, which is most likely the cause of the husband’s death. They were last seen on surveillance leaving the Valley View Casino in Valley Center 25 miles west of the camp they were stranded in while on their way to their son’s house in the Palm Springs area.


Sources say, on their way back from their son’s house, they probably were curious as to what the little campsite was, and stopped to look at it. Through their trip, they never got back to their house in Fullerton, California, which then started the search.

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