It’s every parent’s worst nightmare that their child would go missing. Two parents in Northern California just lived this nightmare – two-fold – but thankfully their story has a happy ending!
On Friday afternoon, sisters Leia, 8, and Caroline, 5, asked their mother, Misty, if they could go for a walk. Busy getting things ready around the house, Misty told them no.
A short time later – around 3 o’clock – Misty called for her daughters but got no answer. Frantically, she began to look for them, but they were nowhere to be found.
In a panic, Misty called on some neighbors and friends to help her look for the girls in the area surrounding their home in rural Humbolt County, near the Eel River and the famed Julia Morgan Redwood Grove. After three hours of searching with no luck, she called the sheriff’s office for help.
A massive search was launched involving more than 170 personnel from 21 law enforcement and military agencies – including two helicopter crews and 12 K-9 units. For 44 hours they combed the area, looking for any trace of the young girls.
Miraculously, the girls were found alive and safe on Sunday morning!
“I am pleased to report that we all are witnessing a miracle today,” said Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal. “Caroline and Leia have been found safe and sound in southern Humboldt.”
The girls were discovered by Piercy, California, Fire Chief Delbert Crumley and firefighter Abram Hill at around 10:30 a.m. near Richardson State Park, about 1.4 miles south of their home. They responded when rescuers called out for them and were found huddled together under a bush.
The sisters told rescue workers they had gotten lost following a deer trail and decided to stay where they were. They drank fresh water from Huckleberry leaves to keep themselves hydrated.
“They were safe and sound, still ambulatory, in good spirits, no injuries,” Honsal said. “These girls definitely have a survival story to tell.”
#searchandrescue #update Leia and Caroline were found approximately 1.4 miles south of their residence near Richardson’s Grove. Here’s a first look from the scene where first responders located the girls.
Press release with more information as soon as possible today. pic.twitter.com/k2bUTQOtrt
— Humboldt County Sheriff (@HumCoSO) March 3, 2019
Paramedics examined the girls after they were found. Miraculously, besides being dehydrated and cold, the girls were completely fine! They were reunited with their parents on Sunday afternoon.
“We could not have had a better outcome than we’ve had this morning,” Honsal said. “It’s an absolute miracle.”
To add to the miracle, the girls were found just before a huge rain storm was scheduled to hit the area!
Thankfully, these girls relied on their instincts and the safety lessons their parents had taught them to survive.
“I have to tell you that when we got the first word that the kids may be safe, there was still a question mark in a lot of people’s minds,” said Humboldt County Supervisor Estelle Fennell. “It is so amazing to have such good news, to know they are safe. We have so many of these kinds of efforts that end up in tears and tragedy.”
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