|This is the Decareaux Family.|
David Decareaux was a Department of Defense employee, a former Air Force officer, Information Specialist, and a husband and father of the wonderful family you see here. The family resides in Milllstadt, Illinois. The family recently rented a cabin in Reynold's County, Missouri, in the vicinity of the Ozark Trail.
It was during this trip that Mr. Decareaux took two of his sons and their four month old Labrador puppy Bear, on a hike. By all accounts, David was an experienced hiker, and he had a cellphone and flashlight. They departed on Saturday for their hike in 60 degree weather and were by newspaper accounts, appropriately dressed with light coats, and layered clothing. They were last seen by a passer by, who asked if they needed a ride back because it had begun to rain. Mr Decareaux responded that they could make it back. Later is the day, the temperature plummeted and attempts to find them were thwarted by flash floods of the region. Temperatures dropped into the twenties while the local sheriff gathered people to go look for the man, his two sons and their puppy. David Decareaux, a military veteran, was found soaking wet and dead. Attempts were made to resuscitate his two sons, and they were taken to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. The labrador puppy has survived. This is said to have occurred within the Mark Twain National Forest which is quite desolate and overnight, has no ambient light.
This was an experienced hiker and according to friends and relatives, an intelligent man. Please remember that wherever you are, that the temperature, in all seasons, but particularly in winter, can plummet unexpectedly. Remember that children if cold, or ill can slow a hike immeasurably. Remember always to have far more in terms of supplies and clothing, than is needed. Such accidents are not really as rare as we would like them to be. I am often accused of not being adventurous enough on such trips, and of having more than is needed. The fact is that we never know what might happen that might leave us, and our most vulnerable family members in the elements for longer than was anticipated. Put blankets in spacebags in your car. Wear layered clothing. Check weather reports. Remember that many places exist in the US in which cellphones cannot reach cell sites.
Mr. Decareaux is remembered as an excellent father and a good provider. He had a high level job with DOD, and an autopsy will be conducted on these family members. Dominick was ten, and Grant was eight years old. Our condolences go out to his wife, his remaining family, his in-laws, and all of their friends.