A missing Wisconsin couple is safe after becoming stuck in the snow in Wyoming. Mark and Kristine Wathke of Cornell left the northeast entrance Yellowstone Park on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 29, but did not arrive at their destination of Miles City, Montana that evening. The couple had told family members that they expected to be back home on Saturday.
They were found Monday morning on a remote stretch of the seasonally closed highway. “Their car had become stuck,” said Park County Sheriff’s Department public information officer Lance Mathis. “They had plenty of fuel, so they were able to start their car periodically to stay warm. They had plenty of water and a limited amount of food.
AUDIO: Lance Mathis, Park County Sheriff’s Department (3:35)
Mathis said the Wathkes were found by a local rancher who took it upon himself to search for the missing couple by snowmobile. “They seemed no worse for wear, and they were constantly on the phone with their family, which is understandable.”
Mathis said the Beartooth Highway section of U.S. 212 has been closed since mid-Septemer. “U.S. Highway 212 is the most direct route to Miles City – in the summer. It’s beautiful in the summer but impassable in the winter. We’re assuming they did not see the signs, or just ignored them,” said Mathis, adding that deputies had not yet interviewed the couple. They were found at an elevation of about 10,500 feet.