(SAN FRANCISCO) — Two young sisters have been found alive after wandering away from their Northern California, home and spending two nights in a cold, rainy forest, according to their mother and the local sheriff.
The girls, 8-year-old Leia Carrico, and her 5-year-old sister, Caroline, were found by rescuers Sunday morning in rural Humboldt County, their mother, Misty Carrico, told ABC News.
The girls went missing Friday afternoon.
“I am pleased to report that we all are witnessing a miracle today. Caroline and Leia have been found safe and sound in southern Humboldt,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said at a news conference, prompting wild applause from rescuers, who had been searching for the girls.
Honsal said the sisters were discovered about 10:30 a.m. local time by Piercy, California, Fire Chief Delbert Crumley and firefighter Abram Hill, who were among nearly 200 rescuers from across the state who joined the search.
The sheriff said the girls were found near Richardson State Park, about 1.4 miles south of their home in Benbow.
He said Crumley and Hill were following tracks in their assigned search area when they came upon the little girls.
“They were safe and sound, still ambulatory, in good spirits, no injuries,” Honsal said.
He said the girls were being brought to paramedics to be examined and reunited with their parents.
“We could not have had a better outcome than we’ve had this morning,” Honsal said. “It’s an absolute miracle.”
Misty Carrico told authorities her daughters went missing about 3 p.m. on Friday from their home in Benbow, near the Eel River and the famed Julia Morgan Redwood Grove. She went looking for them with neighbors and friends before calling the sheriff’s office three hours later.
“The two asked to go for a walk. The mother said, ‘No.’ And then in the course of getting things ready and stuff, she noticed they were missing around 3:00,” Honsal said.
Authorities had launched an expansive search that involved more than 170 personnel from 21 law enforcement and military agencies, including three helicopter crews and six K-9 units.
#SearchandRescue Search teams are continuing the search this morning for Rose Carrico, age 5, and Leia Carrico, age 8, last seen yesterday, March 1, at 2:30 pm outside their home on Twin Trees Rd in Benbow. If you see these two, please call 911 immediately. pic.twitter.com/hT13sjGZiX
— Humboldt County Sheriff (@HumCoSO) March 2, 2019
The search extended into Sunday with officers going door to door and inspecting all vehicles going in and out of the spawling area where the search was centered, about 280 miles north of San Francisco.
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