Woman Survives Desert, 5 Days Lost Trying To Find Casino: How To Survive In The Desert [Video]

A woman survives in the desert for five days after getting lost en route to a casino and her story of triumph and survival makes headlines. Now her family is giving thanks to miracles, Lady Luck and the elderly woman’s superb intuition for keeping her safe in the desert for five days until she was found, reported NBC.

Ethel Crescenzo is a plucky 79-year-old woman from Arizona. When she got into her white 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with the personalized “ETHEL” license plate and headed toward the casino recently, she couldn’t have imagined what would happen next.

Crescenzo took a wrong turn, and things just got worse from there. After driving clear to California in a botched attempt to find the Arizona casino, the woman abandoned her car and then stumbled down an embankment. The Surprise Police Department issued a Silver Alert for the woman, but things seemed bleak.

“A Silver Alert has been issued for a missing 79 year old Surprise woman. Her name is Ethel Crescenzo. She is 5’1, 140lbs, driving a white 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with an Arizona registration of ‘ETHEL.’ If you see her or her vehicle contact the Surprise Police Department at [redacted].”

What the police and Ethel’s family didn’t know was that the woman would survive five days in the desert by using rocks for pillows and bushes for shelter. She was found alive on Sunday, October 19, 2014. She had been missing since October 14. The missing woman suffered dehydration, scrapes and bruises during the ordeal.

“This is a miracle, because honestly — should she be here today? No. There’s no doubt, it’s a miracle,” her son told UPI.“I will say this in the very beginning, she is very poor on directions,” he added.

If you have ever wondered how to survive in the desert without water, there’s an instructional YouTube video for that. Some highlights include using urine to dampen your clothes and reduce sweating. Speaking of urine, don’t drink it. Your body will use more water attempting to process the urine, causing even more dehydration. Don’t drink from a cactus either. The ensuing vomiting will only exacerbate the problem.


As previously reported by The Inquisitr, an injured hiker survived in the desert for four days when he fell 10 feet, dislocated his shoulder and broke his ankle. It took four days for 64-year-old Amos Wayne Richard to crawl the five miles back to his car after his injuries. Fortunately, he was able to subsist on two protein bars and rainwater that he collected in his empty water bottles until he reached safety.

What do you think of the woman who survived in the desert for five days? Was it quick thinking or sheer good luck that kept her alive? Comments are welcome.

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