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*breaking ... UPDATED*

Missing family found alive

— — Rose and her husband Ed Hill are relieved to hear — the good news that their daughter and her family are all alive. Ed consoles — Rose while she talks to reporters.

Marlo Hill-Stivers finally called her mother.


I love you baby,&

Rose Hill said, weeping into the receiver of the white cordless phone that brought word her missing family was alive. &

Oh thank God. The Lord answered our prayers.&

The six members of the Stivers family were found alive today near Wolf Creek, a remote area northwest of Grants Pass, the Ashland police reported. They have been missing since March 4.

The missing family consists of: 29-year-old Pete Stivers and 31-year-old Marlo Hill-Stivers, of Ashland; their children, 9-year-old Sabastyan Stivers and 8-year-old Gabrayell; and Elbert and Becky Higginbotham of Arizona, whom police described as Pete Stivers&

mother and stepfather.

The family became lost on an overnight trip to the Oregon Coast. They took a wrong turn and got stuck in deep snow, according to authorities.


That big snow came that night and they just got stranded,&

said Ed Hill, Rose Hill&

s husband.

Snow drifts trapped the family inside the Higginbotham&

s 35-foot Dolphin motor home for 16 days, Hill-Stivers told her mother today. They survived on dried goods the Higginbotham&

s had stashed for Y2K and tried to fashion an antenna for Hill-Stivers broken cellular phone.

The family was finally able to open the doors on Monday. Hill-Stivers and her husband decided to hike out, leaving their children with the grandparents inside the RV. This morning the pair came across BLM workers in southwestern Douglas County near the Curry County line.


I told you guys they&

d be back with an incredible adventure,&

Lori Mock, Hill-Stiver&

s oldest sister, said to family members when her sister called today.

Now authorities are working to reach the remaining family members still in the RV with SnowCats and Medivac helicopters. The family will be airlifted to a regional hospital to check for dehydration and frostbite, according to Rose Hill, then return home.

Hill-Stivers told her mother everyone was in good health, although she mentioned Elbert Higginbotham needed some sort of medication.

The family apparently became lost and stranded just north of the area authorities searched repeatedly over the last week, Ashland Police Detective Brent Jensen told the Hills this morning.


I guess what [Jensen] said &

145;They was just north of the grid where they were looking for them,&


Ed Hill sad.

Stivers works at an Ashland convenience store and Hill-Stivers works at DJ&

s Video. The children attend Walker Elementary School.

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 x 225 or jsquires@dailytidings.com.