WASHOE COUNTY (CBS13) – A stroke of luck and swift action got a missing Davis couple back into the arms of their loved ones after being stuck in northern Nevada.
The couple – Diego Salido and Kira Ann Clapp – was found by an off-duty Washoe County sheriff's detective sergeant camping in the area on Saturday, authorities said. According to the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, the off-duty sergeant was miles away from his own campsite when he located the couple with their disabled truck.
"Nobody knew that they had been missing or anything until about Wednesday or Thursday," said Stacy Sorensen Ochoa, Clapp's cousin.
Davis police said the department took the case last Thursday for the couple.
"Of course, all kinds of scenarios go through your head at the beginning," Sorensen Ochoa said.
But, Sorensen Ochoa told CBS13 that they have a strong family and had faith that the couple would be okay.
"It sounds like they had gone up there initially for a two or three-day Valentine's weekend camping trip and got stuck. So that turned into I think a six- or seven-day ordeal," said Scott Zettelmeyer, a helicopter rescue technician and paramedic with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.
Sorensen Ochoa said Clapp's debit card had been used in Gerlach, Nevada last weekend. So, the family knew the general area of where the couple was heading and were familiar with the area.
The boyfriend and girlfriend are counting their lucky stars on Sunday.
After finding them, the off-duty law enforcement officer gave them food and water before returning to his camp miles away to call for help using a satellite phone.
That's when Zettelmeyer and his teammate jumped into their search and rescue helicopter Raven to get the couple to safety.
"Other than being a little bit cold, they weren't hurt or injured. They were very, very happy to see us, that's for sure," Zettelmeyer said.
Swipe through more photos from the rescue below.
While smiling from ear to ear, Salido and Clapp were flown back to safety to be reunited with their worried family.
"They'd had no contact with them. So, they didn't know if they were hurt, were they injured, were they dead on the side of the road," Zettelmeyer said. "The family was very relieved."
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Zettelmeyer and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office told CBS13 that the couple wasn't taken to hospital and didn't have any injuries.
"There's really not much to say other than that we were super, super, super relieved. We knew that they were going to be OK," Sorensen Ochoa said.
The family and search team said what they did while they were stranded for nearly a week made all the difference.
"They did the right things. They stayed put. They had a light to kind of shine up in the darkness so we could see them. They didn't go wandering around trying to find help," Zettelmeyer said.
"We were just hoping that they were smart and they did the right things if they were stuck or lost, and they did – which is the best part of all," Sorensen Ochoa said.
Clapp's cousin told CBS13 that the couple hasn't been able to get the truck out yet.
They all hope to put this beyond stressful situation behind them so the college students can focus on their studies.
Sorensen Ochoa said that the off-duty detective was an "angel sent from somewhere," and that if he hadn't found the couple when he did, "things could've turned out very differently."
She also added that they will be personally reaching out to him to express their thanks to him.
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