Arizona girl, 3, survives 5 days in car with mother's body

This is probably the saddest story I’ve seen in some time. Almost unbelievable, but true. I wish there was something I could do for this Angel…

By David J. Cieslak, The Arizona Republic

January 27, 2004

A 3-year-old girl ate crackers and huddled with her mother’s body for five days before rescue workers found her inside a car that ran off the highway in a remote area near Globe, authorities said.

Angel Emery was airlifted to Maricopa Medical Center, where she was being treated late Monday for dehydration and severe frostbite on her feet.

Her mother, Patricia Marie Emery-Wade, 44, died in the wreck, which apparently occurred Wednesday afternoon on U.S. 60 between Globe and Show Low, authorities said. The family’s dog, a pug, also died in the crash.

Wade’s car hit a tree about 40 feet off the highway and 20 feet down an embankment, making it nearly impossible to see from the roadway.

Family members became concerned Wednesday night when the two did not arrive at Wade’s brother’s house in Show Low after leaving their west Phoenix home.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer discovered the car and found Angel and her mother after a passer-by saw the vehicle Monday morning, Sgt. Frank Valenzuela said.

“The fact that (Angel) was found alive is just remarkable,” Valenzuela said. “The only thing she could share with us is that she had been eating crackers and that’s how she was able to survive these long days out in the elements.”

Temperatures in the area dropped into the 20s last week.

Angel had been strapped into a child seat in the back of the car but somehow got out and crawled into the front seat, where she ate the crackers and curled up with her mother. Investigators suspect Angel may have gotten out of the car, which was on its side, and wandered at some point.”

You can go to USA Today to read the complete story.

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