Teen Recounts Finding Elderly Couple Lost Deep In Woods

Jeffrey Schaub
February 24, 2020 - 10:49 am
Palo Alto couple found

Marin County Sheriff / Twitter

An 18-year-old search and rescue crew member is credited with locating Ian Irwin and Carol Kiparsky, an elderly Palo Alto couple who had gone missing for more than one week in a wooded section of Marin County.

Now, Quincy Webster shared his recollection about finding the depleted husband and wife on Saturday in Inverness.

“At first, I started hearing them yell ‘help’,” Webster said. “There was a lot of adrenaline, and when we went to them, we were just crashing through the bushes.”

The Redwood High School student heard the couple’s cries from a drainage area deep in the forest. The ground had been covered with vegetation so thick, rescuers had to crawl on their bellies to navigate the terrain. Webster said that he really didn’t think the crew would find the couple alive.

“They barely had anything to drink, to eat,” Webster said. “So I opened up my pack and started pulling everything out, gave them my water bottle, my Gatorade.”

Webster said Irwin and Kiparsky — clearly tired, weak and cold — used nearby puddles as the sole sustenance for their survival.

“Ian said to me that basically they just used up all their energy trying to get as far (as they could), and pushed as far as they could until they just completely physically drained,” Webster said. “And I’m amazed they got as far as they did, being how dense it was.”

The couple took four days to travel 100 yards, but were unable to reach safety.

“They were overjoyed that we found them, and they didn’t think they were going to be found,” Webster said.

Authorities began searching for them after they failed to check out of a rented cabin in Inverness on February 15.