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2 teenage hikers lost in Trabuco Canyon; search effort under way

April 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The search continued for two teenage hikers who went missing Sunday night in Trabuco Canyon.

About six searchers planned stay overnight, officials said on Monday night.

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, both of Costa Mesa, were last heard from around 8:30 p.m. Sunday by cellphone. They told 911 dispatchers they were hiking on a trail and they thought they were a mile from their car, but they couldn't find their way down the rugged terrain. The cellphone battery went dead before dispatchers could locate them.

Reserve deputies searched overnight but didn't find them. Authorities launched a new search using a helicopter Monday morning. Authorities planned to take a closer look at a mineshaft in the Holy Jim Trail area after a bloodhound picked up a very faint scent in that area.

"I'm having a feeling that one of them is injured and they are sticking together, and they're just unable to be heard or seen," said Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Erin Giudice.

Officials said they believe the pair took a detour off the popular and well marked path. From the air and ground, rescuers have been scouring the canyon for any signs of the teens

"I just hope that she's found," said Jack's mother, Dawn. "She's not a very experienced hiker."

Jack's father, Russ, said she called him around 1:30 p.m. Sunday to tell him she was going on a hiking adventure. He said it was out of character for her because she usually goes to the gym.

"If they go another night, I don't know, I hope she has some water," the father said.

It is not clear if the teens had food or water on them. It was also not known how they were dressed.

Cabin owner Mike Milligan, who lives in the Holy Jim Trail area, says lost hikers in the past have knocked on his door asking for help.

"It's really hard to get lost," Milligan said. "Two reasons why people get lost: They either go up too late and they get caught at night, or they're just totally unfamiliar and they blaze their own trail."

Friends and family of the two hikers gathered as night fell to support the families. Crew said they would continue to search through the night if needed.

Searchers said they are optimistic that the hikers will be found.


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