Elderly Woman Survives In The Desert For Five Days

An elderly woman survived five days in the Sonoran Desert. Authorities said Ethel Crescenzo, 79, was traveling to a casino when she became hopelessly lost. Although she is being treated for dehydration, she is expected to survive the ordeal.

Ethel’s son, George Crescenzo, said his mother was headed toward Scottsdale when she took a wrong turn. Instead of reaching her destination, the elderly woman drove deeper into the desert. She eventually ended up on a dirt road, which came to a dead end.

George said his mother got out of her vehicle and locked the doors. Unfortunately, she could not reenter the vehicle as she misplaced her keys. The elderly woman walked approximately 200 yards before stumbling and falling down an embankment.

Despite suffering minor injuries, the woman survived in the desert for five days. As reported by NBC News, Ethel “slept on boulders and took refuge under bushes and trees.” George is calling his mother’s survival a miracle.

Although she suffered bruises, cuts, dehydration, and a broken ankle, Ethel is “holding her own” and her condition continues to improve.

According to family and friends, Ethel is a stubborn woman with a strong will. George said his mother is no stranger to facing adversity. As reported by AZ Family, she survived kidney cancer and continues to suffer with diabetes. Although she had no access to her medication, the elderly woman still managed survived five days stranded in the desert.

Following Ethel’s disappearance, Arizona authorities issued a Silver Alert. The abandoned vehicle was discovered on Sunday afternoon, prompting a thorough search of the surrounding region. Ethel Crescenzo was eventually located by a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. She was fewer than 300 yards from her car.


Authorities said the elderly woman was disoriented and was not sure how many days she spent in the desert. Thankfully, she did not suffer any life-threatening injuries or permanent damage.

In addition to Ethel’s strong will, her family credits the Silver Alert with saving her life. The alert system is similar to the Amber Alert, which is used to alert the community about missing children. However, the Silver Alert was designed to find missing persons who are elderly or disabled.

As Ethel Crescenzo continues to recover, her family is thankful that the woman survived in the desert for five days. Authorities are still to trying to figure out how she managed to survive the harsh landscape and conditions.

[Image via ABC]