Real Names: Unknown
Case: Lost Rescuers
Date: December 1983
Details: On December 23, 1983, the Dover family from Atlanta, Georgia, left their homes to travel to visit relatives in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, a 1200 mile trip. In the group was Joe Dover, his son, Vance, his father-in-law, James, his cousin, Tommy, Tommy's seven-year-old son, David, and a family friend, Mary Ann Prudente. They planned to reach their destination by Christmas Day.
As the Dovers were driving in Mexico, it began to snow. Vance was driving when they had to take a detour, as the main road into the mountains was closed. As they continued driving, snow began to lay on the road. Suddenly, Vance lost control and they collided with another vehicle in the middle of nowhere. Tragically, the four occupants of the other car were killed, but amazingly, all the Dovers were still alive. However, many of them were seriously injured and clinging to life.
As the Dovers were trying to figure out what to do, an unknown American couple came to help them and take them out of the vehicle. They soon took charge of the rescue operation. James was seriously injured and placed in the back of a truck by them. Tommy was believed to have died at first and they worked desperately to revive him; fortunately, they were successful. The woman then tried to comfort Vance, who was laying injured in her car.
The Dovers were sent to a health clinic in Monterrey, almost an hour away. The couple stayed with them and tried to keep them comforted while there. A nurse told Vance that his leg was broken and that a pin would have to placed through his knee. She told him that Tommy, Mary Ann, and David were also there, but were in critical condition. There was no sign of Joe or James. Vance feared that they had died.
The next morning, Vance remembered waking up to find the woman was still there and taking care of him and the others. She assured him that everything was going to be okay and that Joe and James were being taken care of. In fact, all six were alive and well with the help of the couple, who left later that day and were never seen again. The Dovers never had a chance to thank them for their help. Twelve years later, the Dovers, including Joe's wife, Linda, still hopes to find them.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 19, 1995 episode.
Results: Solved. On the night of the broadcast, a viewer recognized the case as one often told by her friend, Dr. Nancy Neff Hannan, and her husband, John, of Houston, Texas. They were soon put in contact with the Dovers.
A few weeks later, more than thirty members of the Dover family were at Christ Church in Canton, Georgia, where they finally were reunited with the Hannans. Everyone compared their memories of that fateful night, and the Dovers were finally able to thank the Hannans for saving their lives. The Dovers plan to visit the Hannans as they make their annual trip to Mexico.