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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 12:02pm
El Paso — What was supposed to be a leisurely drive on a Saturday afternoon turned into much more for a Lower Valley couple. Ricardo and Martha Beltran say they were only planning to be away for a few hours and didn't think to tell their family about their day trip.
"We didn't tell them that we were going this time because we were just going to go for a ride," Martha Beltran explained.
After the Beltrans failed to come home, family members began a grueling search to locate the couple - both of whom are 75-years-old.
"It was quite an ordeal. It was scary. I was scared," Martha said.
Mr. Beltran says he took a wrong turn and ended up in a sand pit.
"It was so high and it was so deep, it was so steep it was hard to get out of," Ricardo Beltran explained.
After several failed attempts to get out, they decided to stay put.
"We just said we'd just go back and take it easy and just hope that somebody would fly over or something," Mr. Beltran said.
All they could do was wait, and ration what little food they had left. Then a light on Tuesday night became their beacon of hope.
"All of a sudden something was bright. I thought I was dreaming. And then I pulled the tarp down and I saw all these lights around me," Mrs. Beltran told us.
Border Patrol agents were surveying the area looking for undocumented immigrants. What they found were the Beltrans.
"They wanted to know what we were doing up there and I said, 'We're stranded," Mr. Beltran recounted.
They're now fully hydrated, safe, and healthy. And reunited with their family. The Beltrans say they consider this experience a blessing, especially because Mr. Beltran has been at the brink of death before a decade before.
"I was visiting some people in the hospital and I caught some sort of virus. Very deadly.... So yes, I've been there, done that," Mr. Beltran said.