Former airman, young sons die of exposure

Trip was a surprise from father with new DOD job

REYNOLDS COUNTY, Mo. — A weekend camping trip was a surprise wedding anniversary gift from David Decareaux to his wife Sarah and their five children.

Decareaux, 36, of Millstadt, Ill., had the weekend off from his new job with the Department of Defense at Scott Air Force Base, and he surprised his wife with a cabin he rented for the family in Reynolds County, Mo.

“That was just something they would do,” said his father-in-law, Keith Hartrum, of Waterloo. "They are very adventurous.”

The trip turned tragic when David Decareaux and his two sons died from the cold Saturday night on the Ozark Trail.

Read more: Anniversary gift turns into fatal hike for father, two sons from Millstadt