Two stranded motorists found amid subzero temps


PILLAGER, Minn. -- Two stranded Brainerd motorists were found after getting lost in the woods amid temperatures roughly 23 below zero early Sunday morning, Dec. 31.

Pillager Fire Chief Randy Lee said his firefighters were dispatched just after 3 a.m. Sunday to aid the Cass County Sheriff's office in locating two stranded motorists who had gotten lost and run out of gas in the Pillsbury State Forest, north of Pillager.  

The searchers tried “pinging” one of the victims’ cell phones in an attempt to find them through GPS, but the signal was too weak, Lee said. It took more an hour before authorities finally found them, he said. The two lost parties turned up on one of the trails near Pillsbury Forest Road.

Lee did not know the identities of the two lost people -- one male, one female -- but he believed they were uninjured. North Memorial Ambulance transported them back to Brainerd, but not to the hospital, he said.