Wife of missing man in Owyhee Mountains speaks out on her fight for survival

Posted at 4:20 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 13:32:36-05

OWYHEE COUNTY — Saying a family road trip took a turn for the worst doesn't begin to explain what Francesca and her infant daughter went through.

"I was terrified, but I couldn't let it slow me down," said Francesca Rose, "we were headed off to California, and it was snowing pretty bad, so we turned around and took the scenic view and got stuck in snow even more."

After a few days stranded, the family left the truck and hiked nearly a mile uphill to a cabin, eventually splitting up from her husband as he left to seek help. His last words still ring in her head.

"That he loved me and he'd be right back and hopefully he could get some kind of phone signal," said Rose.

Cradling her infant daughter, she climbed a ladder and broke a window to get inside the cabin. Call it what you will, luck or a miracle, the cabin was equipped with survival materials.

"There were MREs and canister things to warm up cans and lanterns," said Rose.

Knowing no one could see her inside, he made her way back to the truck. Then the answer she'd been hoping for: headlights driving down the road. Her rescue still leaves a bittersweet feeling behind.

"It was a good feeling, but it wasn't such a good feeling because I knew I had to leave him the mountains," said Rose.

His family, still clinging to all they have left of him; hope.

"We go from very intense grieving to maybe there's a hope that maybe there could be a miracle," said sister-in-law Courtney Farrel, "because someone finding Rose and the baby was a miracle."

Rose and her 10-month-old left the snow-filled nightmare practically unscathed; no bumps, no scratches, just a heavy heart.

"I'm glad that the baby made it through, but I'm not okay being here and him not being here," said Rose.