Mo. sheriff now says hikers were never offered ride

CENTERVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The sheriff in Reynolds County, Mo., says that contrary to initial reports, no ride was ever offered to a man and his two sons who died while hiking.

David Decareaux of Millstadt, Ill., and his boys ages 10 and 8 died earlier this month after getting lost on the Ozark Trail. The temperature was about 60 degrees when they left but dropped below freezing by the next morning, when their bodies were found.

A passer-by spotted the hikers and spoke with them about 3 1/2 hours into their hike. Sheriff Tom Volner originally said the man offered a ride that was declined.

But Volner said Tuesday that he learned the passer-by decided to offer a ride only after driving away. By the time he got back, the hikers were gone.

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