JORDAN VALLEY – What started out as a camping trip to Jordan Craters for Amanda Schmierer and Michael Sletten turned into a two-day ordeal after the pair got stranded in the remote area near Jordan Valley.
Sletten, 48, Boise, and Schmierer, 35, from Nampa, were traveling in a 2015 Ford Focus when it became stuck in a badger hole Sunday, according to Malheur County Lt. Rich Harriman. Sletten set out on foot to seek help, leaving Schmierer, who was not dressed for the hike ahead, with the vehicle, Harriman said.
Sletten initially took off in the wrong direction.
“It took 36 hours before he got help,” Harriman said.
Sletten had a cell phone, but no cell service. He was eventually picked up by a passing vehicle and was able to alert the sheriff’s office. The call came in about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Harriman said.
“We were all over out there; we spent from roughly 10 a.m. until dark,” Harriman said.
A search and rescue crew found Schmierer Tuesday night. She was safe in the vehicle about five miles off the highway at the Jordan Craters turnoff north of Jordan Valley.
“She was in good shape, a little dehydrated,” Harriman said.
Harriman said Schmierer didn’t have much food or water, but she managed to keep warm by using a sleeping bag.
The rescue crew included ranchers, an airplane belonging to Skinner Ranch in Jordan Valley, and two Jordan Valley ambulance members who drove out in ATVs.
Harriman said deputies took Schmierer to Marsing, where she was met by family members of Sletten’s.
“She was relieved and thankful,” Harriman said. “She wasn’t scared at all, she was more scared of what’s out there, what kind of animals, and if she was gonna survive.”
Sletten is being held at the Canyon County Detention Center on a parole violation. When he reached family members Tuesday, Harriman said, Sletten’s uncle took Sletten to a scheduled court hearing. He was taken into custody Tuesday morning. But Harriman said deputies reached him by phone that day and Sletten was able to provide more details to help in the search for Schmierer.
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