Cameron and her three children while they were on the hike.

Investigators: missing mom, kids found after getting stuck on forest road

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Investigators are providing more information about a missing mother and her three children who were found safe in the early morning hours of June 5.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said at 6:12 p.m. on June 4, the husband of Cameron Cutler called police to report his wife and three of their children went on a hike on Tunnel Ridge Trail and had not returned home.

Search and rescue teams responded to the area to search for the family.

The sheriff’s office said it appears Cutler used Apple Maps to navigate to her destination from Talent. The route took her on unpaved, unimproved forest roads in the Anderson Creek area.

Cutler drove for a few miles on the rough roads before deciding to turn back. However, her vehicle became wedged between a tree and a ditch as she tried to double back.

Without cell phone service, Cutler was unable to call for help. She stayed near the car with her children to await rescue.

With about 150 citizen volunteers responding, it was only a matter of time before Cutler was found.

At about 1:00 a.m. on June 5, the Cutlers were found safe by search and rescue crews. Nobody was injured.

According to Jackson County Sherriff Sergeant Richards, Cameron Cutler did some things right. “She was prepared with clothing, food, and water; she kept everyone in one location instead of wandering off; she worked to keep her children in good spirits.”

Sergeant Richards said there can still be some lessons learned. They include the following advice from the sheriff’s office:

  • Stick to familiar routes
  • Let someone know where you’re going and the route you will take
  • Don’t rely on electronic navigation devices or apps; carry paper maps
  • Ensure you carry enough food and water for 48 hours
  • Carry warm clothing and blankets in your vehicle

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