- Leia and Carolina Carrico, 5 and 8, went missing Friday.
- The sisters from California were lost in the woods near their home for the duration of a weekend.
- The girls survived until they were rescued Sunday with skills they learned in 4H.
- “They didn’t have any food or water with them, but they knew they could drink the water from the rain, off of the leaves and that’s exactly what they did,” a sheriff explained.
- The girls were found safe, albeit cold, hungry, and scared to encounter bears or mountain lions.
On Friday, two young sisters went missing near their home in Northern California, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Leia and Carolina Carrico, 5 and 8, meandered into the woods near their home.
Police found the sisters on Sunday morning, about 1.4 miles from their home. Authorities were able to locate the girls near Richardson Grove State Park by following what they believed to be a path of their footsteps in the dirt.
#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
— HumCoSO (@HumCoSO) March 3, 2019
According to police, the girls became lost in the woods when they followed a deer trail. Unsure of how to get home, the spent the following 44 hours in the woods.
When rescuers found the girls on Sunday, they were doing “well,” if a little cold and hungry, the news release said.
Police said this could have been because of the wilderness skills they learned in 4H, County Sheriff William Honsal said in a press conference Sunday.
“The information we gathered is that they were trained, through 4H, for outdoor survival and we believe that that did play a part, but we’re only speculating right now,” Honsal said.
According to the news release, one way that the girls sustained themselves was by drinking fresh water from huckleberry leaves. Their mum, Misty Carrico,told ABC7 that the girls also took shelter in the huckleberry bush, which may have prevented them from catching hypothermia on damp nights when temperatures dipped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
“This was rugged territory, this is an extreme environment and how they were out there for 44 hours is pretty amazing but it shows a resilience of people that actually grew up in this community. These girls definitely have a survival story to tell,” Honsal said.
Upon being rescued, the girls were given a medical evaluation, water, and dry clothing. They were also taken to a hospital, where they were received further medical attention and pizza.
Leia and Caroline Carrico eating pizza in the hospital tonight after spending the wknd lost in the woods in Humboldt County,after wandering too far from home. Their Mom told me they hid in a Huckleberry bush and lost their voices yelling for help until rescuers found them this AM pic.twitter.com/FPueQvCMdk
— Kate Larsen (@KateABC7) March 4, 2019
After the weekend in the woods, Honsal said the girls were “in good spirits.” Although while they were in the woods they had been cold and scared – particularly of Mountain Lions and bears, their mum told ABC 7.
Over 250 people contributed to the rescue efforts, with over a dozen agencies like California State Parks, United States Coast Guard, and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse becoming involved. During the weekend’s storm and rescue efforts, the Carrico’s driveway was damaged. Misty has since set up a GoFundMe page for donations aiding in repairs.
Misty told ABC 7 that she “feels like the luckiest person in the world” to have her daughters back home.
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