The Colombian Air Force rescued an 18-year-old mother and her one-year-old baby from the jungle in the country's Choco province Wednesday — five days after they survived a light aircraft crash.
The plane disappeared from radar twenty minutes after takeoff from the coastal town of Nuqui on Saturday, Colombia's Semana reported.
When rescuers arrived at the wreckage on Monday, the plane's pilot — Carlos Mario Ceballos — was found dead in the cockpit, with no sign of the mother and child, who authorities knew were on board the plane because they were listed on the passenger register. Hopes were lifted when they noticed the plane's cabin door was slightly ajar.
Hector Carrascal of the Colombian Air Force said: "It could have opened on impact, but it could have been opened from the inside. But that's when we started to worry. 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," according to the BBC.
However, they noticed discarded coconut shells, a sandal and the baby's birth certificate near the plane, and guessed Murillo may have been attempting to leave a trail for rescuers.
A Black Hawk helicopter was assigned to circle the area, using a loudspeaker to ask Murillo: "Nelly, please come back, we're looking for" and "Nelly, we want to hear from you," Semana reported.