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Two young girls, 8 and 5, found safe after three days lost in the woods

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More than 250 people were involved in a search that lasted three days in Northern California

Image source: Humboldt County Sheriff's Office news conference screenshot

Forty-four hours after they disappeared into the rainy forests of Northern California, two young girls were miraculously found safe and sound.

What's the story?

At roughly 3 p.m. local time Friday, 8-year-old Leia Carrico and 5-year-old Caroline Carrico went for a walk without their mother's permission. They followed a deer trail into the forest and got lost. When their mother, Misty Carrico, realized they were missing, she quickly checked with friends and neighbors, then called the police.

Authorities spent the next three days combing the woods around the family's house.

According to a news release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, "More than 250 personnel from across the state responded to assist in this operation." Rescuers came from 16 separate counties, as well as the California National Guard, the California Highway Patrol, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

On Sunday at 10:30 a.m., rescuers found the two girls huddled under a bush about 1.4 miles away from their home. When they realized they were lost, the two girls had decided to stay put until someone found them. They ate granola bars they had brought with them and drank water from Huckleberry leaves.

In a news conference, Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal described the girls as being "safe and sound, still ambulatory" and "in good spirits." Honsal said that the two girls had been trained in outdoor survival by the 4-H and that he believed this training "played a part" in keeping them safe.

Only a few hours after the two girls were found, a rainstorm swept through the area.

After they were rescued, the two girls were brought to a nearby hospital to be evaluated. A reporter from KGO-TV tweeted a picture of the girls in the hospital eating pizza.

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Press Conference March 3, 2019youtu.be

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