Pa. Couple Apparently Froze In Md. Farm Field

JEFFERSON, Md. (WJZ) — An elderly couple was found dead in a farm field in Frederick County, days after they were reported missing in Pennsylvania.

Mike Hellgren has more on how this tragedy happened.

Police say they died looking for help.  They also say that they had a history of being disoriented.  No foul play is suspected.

The search for 86-year-old Bill Fresch and his 79-year-old wife Betty came to a heartbreaking end.  Police found their bodies in a field in Frederick County.  Police say they became disoriented after they left their daughter’s home and drove almost 70 miles from Shippensburg, Pa., to Jefferson, Md.  Their car eventually got stuck.

“They left around 5:15.  They said they wanted to get home before it got too dark, and we have a thing that we do with one another where we always check in and say that we got home safely,” said their daughter Jo Rinehart.

“The car was not able to be driven out of the ravine it was in.  Again, it was just merely stuck there, there was no body damage.  However, when these folks got out, we believe they were trying to walk to a local residence or summon help of some sort,” said Cpl. Josh West.

Police found them outside their Honda Accord, but near each other.  They likely froze to death.

“From what we gather from speaking to the family, it’s not uncommon for some disorientation to take place.  They were clothed, they had coats on, they were about 30 yards apart,” West said.

The couple’s family scoured the area for days, never imagining their lives would end this way.

“I think within all of us, within ourselves, there’s a little dark.  We have dark times,” Rinehart said.

The Fresches did not have a cell phone.  They did own one, but they left it at home the day they disappeared.

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