So it turns out that I work with a guy who lives next door to this guy. It seems his jeep was a p.o.s.,always breaking down. He left well supplied after having an argument with his mail order Russian wife. Kind of a loaner. Had a sixteen year old daughter who lives with his ex.
My guy from work sez that this guy was physically fit and does these kinds of trips all the time. A little weird that he didn't make it out of there but the police haven't questioned any of his neighbors.
Just another Jeep story I guess.