A father and two young sons enjoying a family vacation in the Ozark Mountains were found dead Sunday morning after 60-degree weather quickly degraded to cold, flooding rains. David Decareaux, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene when searchers found him and two of his boys on bluffs near Black, Mo. Dominic, 10, and Grant, 8, had CPR administered to them before their official deaths at a local hospital around 2 p.m.
* Decareaux, his wife, and five children traveled from Millstadt, Ill., for a family hiking trip. The father and two boys set out for a hike around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning but never made it back to Brushy Creek Lodge where they were staying. A motorist saw the group around 2 p.m. later that day and offered them a ride near Sutton's Bluff. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reveals Decareaux's wife alerted local authorities between 6 and 7 p.m. Saturday evening when the three didn't return.
* A search party of around 50 people fanned out to try to locate anyone who was lost. The search was called off around 12:30 a.m. because of flooded creeks from heavy rains. Searching resumed at 7 a.m. Sunday morning. The trio was located a few hours later, according to KTVI .
* A 4-month-old yellow Labrador puppy was also found with the group. KSDK reveals the dog survived and was by the family's side when they were located.
* Frigid weather was partly to blame for the deaths. Decareaux and his sons got lost and couldn't find their way back to the lodge along the Ozark Trail, which runs through the rustic and natural area of Missouri. KFVS reports temperatures started in the 50s and 60s before dipping into the 20s overnight. The father and boys wore light clothing for the warmer weather and weren't prepared for the sudden temperature drop.
* Reynolds County Sheriff Tom Volner told the Post-Dispatch there were "extensive" searches after dark on horseback. Trails, back roads and county roads were searched to no avail. Trails became impassable due to high water when the search was called off during the night.
* Volner told the newspaper, "We get lost hikers all the time, but we have never had this happen." The family has not made a comment yet to the news media outlet.
* The Ozark Trail is a 350-mile network of trails from southwest of St. Louis to near the Arkansas border. The hiking trail exists in some of the most rugged and naturally beautiful areas of Missouri including Taum Sauk Mountain and the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
* Reynolds County has a population of 6,696 in south central Missouri. The rural area is adjacent to the Mark Twain National Forest. Brushy Creek Lodge specializes in horseback adventures through the countryside northwest of Black, Mo.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.
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