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‘Absolute miracle’: Young sisters found after 2 nights in California woods, officials say

Sisters Caroline, 5, and Leia Carrico, 8, were found Sunday morning after going missing Friday in a forest community in Humboldt County, officials say. They were found in “good spirits.”
Sisters Caroline, 5, and Leia Carrico, 8, were found Sunday morning after going missing Friday in a forest community in Humboldt County, officials say. They were found in “good spirits.” Humboldt County Sheriff's Office

Two young Northern California girls missing two nights in the woods were found Sunday morning, ABC News reported.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office officials say the girls are “safe and sound” and in “good spirits,” The Associated Press reported.

“This is an absolute miracle,” said Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal, the wire service reported.

He added that sisters Caroline Carrico, 5, and Leia Carrico, 8, had received outdoor survival training through their 4-H club, the wire service reported. The girls also were wearing boots and had some granola bars for food.

They were found 1.4 miles south of their home in Benbow along Highway 101, KTVN reported.

A fire captain and firefighter found the girls by following their bootprints, The Associated Press reported.

The sisters had been missing from their home since Friday, Humboldt County officials said.

The National Weather Service reported that temperatures dipped to 45 degrees on Friday with periods of steady rain, and 50 degrees Saturday night with drizzly rain.

The sisters were last seen at 2:30 p.m. Friday after they asked their mother if they could take a walk in the woods, the Los Angeles Times reported. She told them no.

Search teams used used tracking dogs and helicopters to look for the girls Saturday following an all-night effort Friday, according to the publication.

Searchers on Saturday found a trail of granola bar wrappers apparently left by the girls, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“We found some granola bar wrappers and we were able to confirm with the mom that yes, these are granola bars that (she’s) bought in the last few days,” said Lt. Mike Fridley, according to the publication. “So the wrappers showed us a direction from where they started to where the wrappers ended at.”

In all, the official search lasted 44 hours until the girls were found at 10:30 a.m. Sunday as the sheriff’s office prepared for a press conference to provide updated information on the effort, KTVN reported.



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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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