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Canadian woman who vanished in March found in Nevada

From Rick Martin, CNN
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Woman survives seven weeks in wilderness
  • "We dealt with the expected findings of starvation," doctor says
  • Rita Chretien is in fair condition, a hospital spokesman says
  • Chretien and her husband were last seen March 19
  • Her husband is still missing, police say

(CNN) -- Hunters found a Canadian woman who vanished seven weeks ago in her van on a remote road in northern Nevada, authorities said, as search crews scoured the area for her missing husband.

Rita Chretien is in fair condition following her rescue Friday, an Idaho hospital spokesman said.

"We dealt with the expected findings of starvation," Dr. James Westberry, a spokesman for St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho, said Sunday at a news conference.

Physicians there tried to "make sure that her electrolytes were replaced."

"We have been able to slowly advance her feedings and she has tolerated them very well," Westberry said. "We're very optimistic that she will have a good recovery."

Chretien's sister-in-law, Lorraine Hoving, told CNN affiliate CTV that she couldn't wait to "hold her and hug her."

"I'll probably cry just seeing Rita and knowing that she survived seven and a half weeks in a van."

Searchers say they are still looking for Chretien's husband, Albert, who left the van to seek help, according to the Oregon State Police.

"We did confirm that they did purchase a new GPS device," Cpl. Dan Moskaluk of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told CNN affiliate CBC News. "We do know that people will at times arm themselves with these devices to make their way in their travels in addition to using physical maps."

Their van was found in Elko County, police said in a statement Friday. Moskaluk said it was found about five hours from where the couple were last seen.

"It is believed that Albert Chretien left the vehicle on foot in March," the statement said. "He has not been located at this time."

The Penticton, British Columbia, residents vanished during a trip to Las Vegas, and were last seen March 19 at a convenience store in Baker City, Oregon.

The couple's daughter-in-law, Beth Chretien, sent CNN affiliate KMVT News an email Saturday saying that she is "overjoyed that mom was found alive."

"We had all come to believe that they would not be found alive so this news came as a complete surprise," she wrote.

"The authorities are continuing the search for dad. ... We hope and pray that he will be found alive also, but as he was on foot and had no shelter we are all expecting the worst at this point."