Californian Sisters, 8 and 5, Finally Found after Missing for 44 Hours

Two Northern California sisters went missing on Friday afternoon. On Sunday morning, they were finally found alive and safe after wandering away from their home.

According to their mother, the young girls had spent 44 hours lost in a cold rainy forest.

Leia, 8, and her sister, Caroline Carrico, 5, were recently found by rescuers in rural Humboldt County. Their mother, Misty Carrico, confirmed the news.

At a news conference, Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said:

"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."

Rescuers who had been searching for the two girls for the past three days applauded the good news. Honsal revealed that the children were found at about 10:30 a.m. local time.

They were discovered by Piercy, California, Fire Chief Delbert Crumley, and firefighter Abram Hill. The two searchers were a part of more than 200 rescuers from across the state that joined the search.

The sisters were found near Richardson State Park which is about 1.4 miles south of their home in Benbow. The Carrico sisters responded when rescuers called out for them.

They were huddled together under a bush. Speaking to first responders, the children explained that they got lost after following a deer trail.

They tried to stay hydrated by drinking fresh water from Huckleberry leaves. According to Honsal, Crumley and Hill were following tracks in their assigned search area when they came upon bootprints which led them to the children.

The sheriff revealed:

"They were safe and sound, still ambulatory, in good spirits, no injuries. These girls definitely have a survival story to tell."

Paramedics examined the sisters and the initial assessment showed they were dehydrated and cold. Soon after they were found, they were reunited with their parents.

Honsal said, "We could not have had a better outcome than we've had this morning. It's an absolute miracle." The children’s mother explained that her daughters had gone missing at around 3 p.m. on Friday.

She searched for them with the help of neighbors and friends before calling the sheriff's office three hours later. Honsal said, "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 o'clock.”

A wide search was launched when the children went missing. More than 170 personnel from 21 law enforcement and military agencies were used.

Two helicopter crews and 12 K-9 units were also dispatched. The children were discovered just hours before a rainstorm was scheduled to hit the area.

In January, 3-year-old Casey Hathaway went missing from his grandmother’s yard in North Carolina. He was found alive three days later at night by a professional search and rescue team in Craven County.

In a news release, Shelley Lynch, a spokesperson for the FBI Charlotte field office, confirmed the news.