SALINA — A former Mayes County woman who was found frozen to death in a Montana cabin knew how to survive in the wilderness, her sister said Thursday.
Mickey Charlene Davis, 67, who lived in Salina until last summer, was found January 13 in a remote area in the Garnet Mountains near Helmville, Montana. It is believed that she had been dead for about two weeks.
Jack L. McWhorter, 44, Davis' common-law husband, was alive but had hypothermia, Powell County, Montana Sheriff Scott Howard said.
Authorities found McWhorter, who also was from Salina, on the floor, propped against Davis' body and surrounded by weapons, he said. McWhorter was taken to a hospital.
Howard said he thought the couple's ordeal began with the heavy snows about Thanksgiving.
Neighbors realized that they hadn't seen the couple since early January and asked people with snowmobiles to check on them.
Ann Campbell of Langley said Davis was her half-sister, "but we felt like sisters." Through tears, she described Davis as "knowing how to rough it."
Campbell said what puzzles her most are the reports that Davis wasn't prepared for a Montana winter and had very few clothes.
"She was always prepared," Campbell said. "My sister always layered clothes; she didn't go anywhere without layering her clothes."
Campbell learned of Davis' death Thursday when her cousin called after hearing the news on television.
The sisters were born and raised in Tulsa. Davis lived most of her adult life in Salina. She had no children but has another sister and two brothers, Campbell said.
"She showed us a picture of the cabin," Campbell said. "It was little and had no electricity or water. We talked in September, and she told me it had snowed Labor Day weekend."
Authorities believe that the couple ran out of food and had no firewood.
McWhorter had seven bouillon cubes in his pocket when found, Howard said.
Two small dogs and a cat were found dead in the cabin. A large dog that was part wolf was alive and very protective of Davis' body, Howard said.
Missoulian staff writer Kim Briggeman contributed to this story.