The local sheriff is calling it an “absolute miracle” that two young sisters were found – in good spirits, no less – Sunday after being missing in the California wilderness for 44 hours. Leia and Caroline Carrico, who are 8 and 5, were last seen Friday afternoon outside their home in the northern California community of Benbow. They had asked their mother if they could go for a walk and had been told no. It was around 3 p.m. on Friday that she noticed they were missing and when authorities were contacted a large scale search began. It eventually involved over 170 personnel from 21 law enforcement and military agencies, including two helicopter crews and 12 K-9 units.
They were found by a local fire chief and firefighter in a wooded area about a mile and a half away on Sunday morning around 10:30 am. So how did two little girls survive in the woods alone for nearly two full days in winter in northern California? Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said the girls were trained in outdoor survival techniques by their 4-H club. They were able to find water from nearby Huckleberry leaves and survive on Granola bars they have brought with them. It was in part the wrappers, but also their tracks that helped them be located. When they were found Leia and Caroline were cold and dehydrated but healthy.
There is something to be said for being prepared. Survival expert Shane Hobel says every child should be taught the basics of what to do if they get lost in the woods. But it does sound like a miracle that these two girls had the training they needed to survive, and that they were found just hours before a rain storm was scheduled to hit the area, and it is certain that their parents are thanking God for their safe return. Humboldt County Supervisor Estelle Fennell praised the rescuers and thanked the community for all their prayers over the course of the search.
If you would like to see more on the sisters journey and the efforts undergone to find them you can in your Good News Story of the Day here.
Story and Image from ABC News.