A mother and her baby were rescued five days after their plane crashed in a jungle in the Choco province of Colombia after the authorities who were looking for them stumbled upon the baby’s birth certificate and decided to keep looking for them.
María Nelly Murillo, 18, and her 1-year-old son, Yudier Moreno, were on board a twin-engine Cessna 303 plane bound for the capital of Choco, when it dropped off the radar 20 minutes into the flight. When the pilot didn’t respond to calls from the civil aviation authorities, officials sent out a search plane, the BBC reported.
After two days of searching, they spotted the downed plane in the Alto Baudo region. The pilot, Carlos Mario Ceballos, was found dead in the cockpit. Murillo and her baby were missing, but the cabin door was open.
“It could have opened on impact, but it could have been opened from the inside,” said Colonel Hector Carrascal of the Colombian Air Force.
“But that’s when we started to worry,” he recounted. “We didn’t have a clue what had happened to them: they could be lost in the jungle trying to survive or they could have died already.”
Rescuers, however, found a trail of clues, including coconut shells and a flip flop. They also discovered the baby’s birth certificate placed near a tree.
Murillo and the baby were found on June 24, five days after the crash. Though Murillo suffered minor burns, her son was in good health, according to The Guardian. Murillo was burned on her face, an arm and a leg after the crash, when she returned to the plane to save her baby. Both her and the boy are reportedly in the hospital.
Though it’s currently unknown what caused the crash, Murillo allegedly survived by drinking water from coconuts that the plane was carrying. Indigenous people also reportedly helped her.