Girl Found in Ravine Near Dead Mother
By BRUCE HARING, AP




LOS ANGELES (April 14) - A 5-year-old girl found in a ravine survived on dry noodles and Gatorade while remaining near her dead mother following a car crash more than a week ago, relatives and authorities said.

The girl, apparently uninjured, was identified as Ruby Bustamante, the daughter of Norma Bustamante, 26, of Indio, said Jane Evans, nursing supervisor at Riverside Regional Medical Center. They were reported missing April 4.



AP
Firefighters prepare to remove woman's body from crash site.


California Department of Transportation workers repairing a road barrier Tuesday morning found the girl, her mother's body and a wrecked Ford Taurus 150 feet down a ravine off the 60 Freeway between Moreno Valley and the Banning Pass, said Chris Blondon, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

The car had crashed about 10 days ago, and the girl was hungry and thirsty but unhurt, Blondon said in a statement.

Relatives gathered at the hospital late Tuesday where Evans said Ruby was in stable condition.


Bill Cooney, the girl's great-grandfather, told local TV networks that Ruby told him she survived on ramen noodles and Gatorade. Ruby also said her mother was alive for "a couple days" after the crash, he said.

Cooney criticized the CHP and other authorities for not searching for Bustamante and her daughter when they were first reported missing April 4.

The woman's body was badly decomposed, and the coroner's office did not expect to identify it for several days, said Riverside County Deputy Coroner Rebecca Mendoza.

Banning is about 90 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.