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Trabuco Canyon search: No signs of missing teenage hikers

April 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Rescuers resumed their search Tuesday morning for two missing teenage hikers in Trabuco Canyon in Orange County.

Searchers are looking for 19-year-old Nicholas Cendoya and 18-year-old Kyndall Jack. The Costa Mesa teens were last heard from at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday after calling 911. Their cellphone batteries died before police could trace a signal.

"We need to find these kids today. They cannot sleep in these hills another night," said Russ Jack, the father of the missing girl.

The teens 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. During the brief phone call, the teens said they had run out of water. Officials said they believe the pair took a detour off the popular path.

The rescue teamsof resumed the effort at sunrise Tuesday with twice the amount of searchers, about 60, who canvassed the forest from the sky, by foot and on horseback. Bloodhounds were also brought in hoping to catch a scent of the two. Authorities remain optimistic that the hikers will be found soon.

However, authorities said they were surprised the two had not been found despite the expansive search.

"It's the length of time that's gone on," said Lt. Erin Giudice of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "If these two were ambulatory, then I believe they would have walked out or yelled for help. I think that somebody might be injured and unable to walk out."

Experts said the temperatures at the site have not been extreme. They've dropped into the 50s at night. The teens are also said to be physically fit, which improved their chances for survival.

"These are very survivable conditions and that's what we pray for and that's what we're looking for," said sheriff's Reserve Lt. Chuck Williams.

"I want my daughter found, and I want Nick to be found as well," Russ Jack said. "We're not going to give up."

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (714) 647-7000.


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