Father and Sons Die of Exposure in the Ozarks

Took a wrong turn during a day hike

Noah Aldonas

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

A father and his two sons died from exposure while hiking on the Ozark Trail in southern Missouri on Saturday.

David Decareaux, 36, his sons, Dominic, 10, and Grant, 8, and their yellow lab had started out around midday, when temperatures were in the low 60s. After a few hours, temperatures dropped into the 20s and rain fell heavily. Police said that at some point the group made a wrong turn and the sun’s light began to fade.

The trio tried to make their way back to the lodge on their own, and even turned down a ride from someone who drove past, [Reynolds County Sheriff Tom Volner] said.

Decareaux had hiked the trail before, but made a wrong turn somewhere, authorities said. “They just missed their turn back to the lodge,” Volner said, according to the Associated Press.

Decaureaux was found dead at the scene on Sunday afternoon. His sons were flown to a hospital, but could not be revived. The dog survived.

Family and friends were devastated by the death of the Air Force veteran and his sons, who were both cub scouts. A funeral service is planned for Friday.

Via The New York Daily News

Filed to: