Lynchburg's Civil Air Patrol Helps Locate Missing Nevada Family - WSET.com - ABC13

Lynchburg's Civil Air Patrol Helps Locate Missing Nevada Family

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Lynchburg, VA - They survived two days in sub-zero temperatures, and a Nevada family has Lynchburg's Civil Air Patrol to thank for their rescue.

James Glanton, his girlfriend Christina Macintee, their two kids, and their niece and nephew were all found alive after they went to play in the snow and never came back. Their Jeep reportedly went over an embankment, and they had no cell phone service.

So James used the Jeep's spare tire to build a fire to stay warm. And most importantly, they all stayed near their car.

We spoke to one of the Lynchburg patrolmen who helped locate them, without even leaving Lynchburg. Major Justin Ogden and his team of cellular forensics experts got the call early Monday morning to help get a location on the family.

They were trying to get a read on the cell phone of James Glanton, but it proved difficult because service in that area is so sparse. Still, a day into their search, they got a break: a clue that led searchers right to the family.

"From the beginning of it, lasting for two days, two nights, it's kind of scary. We see these searches fairly often and they don't have this outcome," said Ogden.

Ogden and his team knew the clock was ticking when they were requested for assistance Monday morning. Their part in the search: glean the family's position using cell phone data.

Something that's easier said than done.

"We don't necessarily get a pinpoint location on a map that we can tell them to search, but we get a large area," said Ogden.

At first, Ogden wasn't even getting that. Cell phone towers and service are scarce where the family was stranded. It wasn't until early Tuesday morning they got their break--a break in the clouds.

"The transaction happened at two o'clock in the morning and they probably weren't even aware that some environmental conditions changed and they got some signal momentarily, and that left a breadcrumb for us," said Ogden.

The breadcrumb being an area where the family was, and could still be.

"By 2 o'clock in the morning we knew they were stationary. So wherever they were at two o'clock in the morning Monday, that was really important for us to get that in the hands of the searchers and have them start looking in that new area."

The cell phone information shifted the focus of the search by about 20 miles. Rescue teams converged on the new area.

With eyes in the sky, feet on the ground, and Ogden's team in Lynchburg, the family is now safe and sound.

"It was within a couple hours of their searching with this new clue that they came up with a find," said Ogden.

Ogden says he's worked on about 400 missing persons or aircraft cases since 2006, and that most cases don't have such a happy ending. He says he and his team are ecstatic to have helped locate this family.

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