Missing Since Mother's Day, Cecil Knutson Found Dead, Wife Dianna Bedwell Dehydrated

Perhaps you heard about the elderly Fullerton couple who had been missing since failing to show up at their son's Mother Day gathering. Cecil “Paul” Knutson, 79, and his 68-year-old wife Dianna Bedwell have now been found–under tragic circumstances.


Around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, off-road riders found a stranded 2014 white Hyundai Sonata along a dirt road on the Los Coyotes Reservation outside of Warner Springs in San Diego County. Inside was the body of Knutson and a very dehydrated Bedwell, who was later hospitalized.

The couple had last been at 2 p.m. on May 10, when surveillance video captured them leaving the Valley View Casino in Valley Center, where they had been playing nickel slot machines.

Their next stop was supposed to be a Mother's Day dinner at the home of their son, Robert Acosta, in La Quinta, but the couple never arrived.

San Diego County sheriff's investigators believe the couple had tried to find a shortcut from the casino to the Riverside County desert community but got lost. Sheriff's Lt. Kenneth Nelson described the area where the Sonata was found as “at a very high elevation, mountainous and very thickly forested.”

“The couple reportedly ate oranges and pie and drank rainwater, but the husband died before they were found,” added Nelson, who at the time said a pending autopsy could determine time of death.

Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla Indians issued a statement:

On behalf of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians, I would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Cecil Knutsen. I would also like to send our heartfelt wishes for a speedy and full recovery of Dianne Bedwel.

We are a relatively small Tribe and members of the Tribe consider themselves family with all members. When we lose one of our own, it is felt by all.

As such, we sympathize with the family of Cecil and Diane.

Our Police Department stands by to assist the family in visiting the site as needed and the recover y of personal effects when they are able.

Again, well wishes for Diane's recovery.

Shane Chapparosa

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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