The Nebraska State Patrol said Wednesday that 37-year-old Lisa Conrad died from exposure after she walked away from a stranded vehicle near Alliance early Tuesday morning in a severe early-spring snow storm. Conrad's body was found late Tuesday afternoon in a field. Her 19-year-old son Brandon, who was with her, was found alive in an old farmhouse. He is in stable condition at the Box Butte General Hospital, where he is being treated for hypothermia and frostbite, Nebraska State Patrol Spokeswoman Deb Collins said.
Conrad’s car became disabled approximately a mile south of Berea on U.S. Highway 385 as she was going home from work in Alliance.
She was last heard from around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, when she called her husband to say she and their son were leaving the vehicle to walk to their home in Berea.
“In talking with Brandon, we were able to learn he walked from his family’s home in Berea to where his mother’s car was stranded,” said Captain Mike Gaudreault, Troop E Commander. “He and his mother then left the vehicle and attempted to walk back to their house, but became disorientated in the blinding snow and never made it.”
Collins said at some point, Lisa Conrad was unable to go on. Her body was found around 5:40 p.m. Mountain Time Tuesday in a field about a half mile west of U.S. 385 off of Johnson Road. Local residents, searching the area on snowmobiles, found her. Brandon was able to make it to an abandoned farm house about 2½ miles away and the snowmobilers found him alive.
“This is a very tragic situation," Gaudreault said. "Brandon did everything he could to help his mother. He is a brave young man, and we are thankful he is alive. Our hearts go out to the Conrad family.”
Berea is an unincorporated community about 10 miles northwest of Alliance in Box Butte County.