(Photo: YouTube/CutchBear Screen Shot)
A Father and his two sons have died hiking in the Ozark Mountains over the weekend.
David Decrareaux had gone hiking in the mountains with his two sons aged 10 and eight. However, they went missing, apparently not prepared for the horrendous conditions closing in around them.
Decrareaux, 36, was found with his sons, Dominic, who was aged 10, and Grant, who was aged just eight, by rescue teams on Sunday morning. Although the father was dead when rescue teams reached them, the two boys were still alive. However, they died later in hospital.
The cause of their deaths was hypothermia, according to the coroner, and it appears as though the freezing conditions was too much for them to endure with their clothing and equipment.
Decrareaux was the father of five children in total, and he leaves behind his three surviving children who had stayed back with his wife at their lodge.
Reynolds County Sheriff Tom Volner told Reuters, "The father was pronounced dead at the scene and the boys later died at a hospital. Decareaux, his wife and five children of Millstadt, Illinois, were staying at an Ozarks lodge [in Southeast Missouri]. They were experienced hikers."
The mountains are a treacherous place, and temperatures can drop suddenly and vastly. This is what appears to have happened in this case, and potentially is what caught the father and his two boys unaware.
The temperature in the mountains was in the 50s when they set out in their hike, however, after they had set off rain arrived, and as evening closed in the temperatures plummeted.
Authorities have said they believe the three hikers did not prepare sufficiently for such a drop in temperatures, and that they were caught unawares.
From where the three were found, it is also believed that they missed a vital turn "that would have returned them to the lodge."
It is not know what made them miss their turn, but that is potentially what led them away from safety and shelter, and ultimately to their deaths.
A dog who had been with the three survived the ordeal and cold temperatures.
Here is a video showing the Ozark Mountains: