Kids find missing father at the bottom of ravine

David Lavau
Update:  When David went off the cliff, his car came to rest close to another car that held the remains of 88-year-old Melvin Gelfand.  Although the Medical Examine will have to officially ID the body, the family and authorities are pretty sure that it is Gelfand.  Gelfand went missing on September 14.  He ended up about 60 miles from where anyone expected him to be.

Original story:  Here comes a amazing story out of Santa Clarita, California about  a man who had plunged off a 200 foot mountain road in his car five days ago, and was found by his kids, who used old-fashion detective work to find him.

David Lavau, 67, was temporarily blinded by the headlights of an oncoming car which resulted in him going down the side of a mountain and crashing at the bottom about 6 days ago.  He survived on leaves and water running in a nearby creek.

His adult children, Sean, Chardonnay and Lisa didn’t want to wait for their farther to be found and decided to search for him themselves.  They got help from a detective  who by using cellphone towers and debit card purchases, surmised where their father might  be.  The kids started hiking through the area and ended up located their dad about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where he had made a camp in a ravine.

His first words to them were, “Can I have a chocolate malt?”

Which I am sure his kids happily yelled back, yes!

Lavau is in stable condition and had multiple rib fractures, a broken arm, fractures in his back and a dislocated shoulder from his accident.  He is expected to be released in 3-4 days.

I think it is safe to say that Lavau and his children are thinking they are the luckiest people in the world today.  I couldn’t be happier for them.

And as a footnote, emergency crews found another car near where Lavau was at with a deceased male inside.  No word yet on who that person was, but they believe they have been there for quite a while.  This person may also be a missing person.

I hope that the city has Caltrans put up a better barrier on that road, so that no one else goes down the side of the mountain.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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