Couple found dead 9 days after car crashes over edge of remote mountain road

A husband and wife who were reported missing March 8, after failing to return from an outing March 5, were found dead in their car at the bottom of a 30-meter-deep ravine in a mountain district of Nantou County, yesterday, March 14.

According to reports, the retired middle-aged couple, named Chen, left their home in Changhua County for a drive to a scenic area in Nantou County, Sunday, March 5. After they failed to return, and did not respond to messages or calls, family members reported them missing.

Police used telecommunications information and found their last mobile phone signal from a base station in Qilintan, Lugu Township. Police and firefighters conducted a search that lasted several days.

Yesterday, March 14, the owner of a tea plantation noticed suspicious tire marks in his tea plantation, and when he checked surveillance camera footage, identified a silver van which matched the description of the missing couple’s vehicle. A search of the narrow road leading to the plantation revealed signs that a vehicle had gone over the edge of the road.

Signs that a vehicle had gone over the edge of the road. Picture: Nantou County Fire Department.

After rappelling down the 30-meter slope, search and rescue personnel located the upturned, badly damaged car. The couple were found dead with obvious signs of traumatic injury.

Police suspect that the Chen’s had mistakenly found themselves on the narrow road while following satellite navigation, and that the car slipped over the edge in reverse while the driver was attempting to turn the car around.

According to the preliminary investigation, the couple were not wearing seatbelts. It is not known if the couple had died in the crash, or had survived but been unable to call for help. The District Prosecutor will conduct an autopsy to identify the cause of death.

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