Rural Utah Pilot Helps To Spot Missing Woman In Remote Box Elder County

Mar 27, 2019, 5:37 AM | Updated: 6:21 am

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — Before a plow driver was able to assist a missing woman free her stuck SUV near Emigrant Pass, an unlikely ‘eye in the sky’ first spotted the vehicle from the air.

Ivo Zdarsky, the lone resident of Lucin, Utah, heard about Michelle Richan’s story and began searching for her in his personal airplane.

“I spotted something orange,” Zdarsky recalled. “So I just went really low to look at it and I saw her actually running out of the car, and then I went and buzzed her to see that it was for real.”

It appeared to be her.

Zdarsky radioed in her location.

He had already seen a plow in the area, and it apparently wasn’t long before the driver arrived.

“He says, ‘I have to pull you out, you’re in my way — I have to plow the road,’” Richan laughed as her children surveyed her SUV after it reached Park Valley. “I’m like, ‘cool, OK!’”

Richan was reported missing on Mar. 19 sometime after she had stopped for gas in Wells, Nevada.

She had been traveling from Eureka, Nevada, to her house in Brigham City.

The woman said she was able to survive after getting stuck because she had well over a week of food and supplies with her in case of emergency.

“It’s just, you know, if you’re going to be out there, you need to be able to survive out there,” Richan shrugged. “You just have to have it.”

Her family expressed relief that she had been found.

“Found and OK and alive and still being able to drive her truck was the best news ever,” daughter Leslie Richan said.

Zdarsky noted how remote and unforgiving the landscape can be, and said he was surprised Richan made it.

“Frankly, I admire that she managed to stay there alive for a week,” Zdarksy said. “She did it her way and it worked.”

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Rural Utah Pilot Helps To Spot Missing Woman In Remote Box Elder County