Missing elderly couple, dog found after 2 days trapped in snow

Photos of the Penas' truck stuck in the snow of northern Arizona (Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

An elderly couple and their dog are safe after spending two nights trapped in ice and snow in northern Arizona.

According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, on Jan. 31, Mike and Catherine Pena and their dog Daphnee took their truck out for a drive to historic Palace Station in the Bradshaw Mountains. They got stuck in treacherous road conditions on Senator Highway.

After their granddaughter reported them missing, search and rescue teams worked 87 hours and searched 1,300 miles of roads. Twenty volunteers assisted in the search.

The Penas were found and airlifted after two nights stuck in the snow; their dog Daphne rode out with volunteers. None of them were injured.

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"Fortunately, they stayed put, conserved their fuel, and had food and water which helped the search effort and their safety immensely," the sheriff’s office said.

What to keep in your car when driving in snowy mountains

The sheriff’s office said it "cannot stress enough" the importance of being prepared for potentially dangerous driving.

It’s recommended that you keep the following items in your car’s winter emergency kit:

  • Flashlight
  • Maps/GPS
  • Batteries
  • Blanket
  • Warm clothes
  • Nonperishable food/snacks
  • Water
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cell phone charger/battery booster
  • Tire chains
  • Ice scraper/snowbrush (a small shovel helps, too)
  • Flares or warning triangle
  • Kitty litter or sand to help with traction
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Sun protection