85-year-old survives 5 days in mountains after making wrong turn

GYPSUM, Colo. (KDVR) -- Two good Samaritans helped an 85-year-old reunite with her family after she was lost in the mountains with her cat for five days after making a wrong turn and getting stuck, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office said.

Ruby Stein was visiting family last week when she began driving back to her home in Akron on March 21 ahead of an incoming storm.

Instead of going on Interstate 70 for the 245-mile drive home to the eastern Plains, Stein accidentally drove into a rural mountainous area in Eagle County, getting her 2007 Nissan Sentra stuck at the end of a muddy and snowy road.

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Woman survives 5 days in mountains
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Woman survives 5 days in mountains

Her cellphone did not have a signal and her car battery eventually died. She survived by making a blanket from coats that were given to her by her granddaughter and using safety pins.

She spent five days and four nights in the vehicle with her cat Nikki, melting snow in a can for water, and eating sweet rolls and Rice Krispie treats.

A statewide missing person alert was issued and family members searched for Stein, believing she was somewhere along the Interstate 70 corridor.

On Saturday, two people driving on Gypsum Creek Road near Lede's Reservoir in Gypsum on their way to go hiking noticed the vehicle.

Katie Preston and Dan Higbee stopped to make sure there was no one inside, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office said.

But instead they found Stein, who told them she had been stuck since March 21. Preston and Higbee drove Stein to Gypsum to reunite her with her family.

The sheriff's office said Stein is in good health other than being slightly dehydrated. And the cat also was fine, the sheriff's office said.

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