2 young California sisters found alive after frantic search

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two young sisters missing from their Northern California home since Friday afternoon were found alive Sunday following a massive search that included helicopters and tracking dogs.

Leia Carrico, 8, and Caroline Carrico, 5, were found "safe and sound" on Sunday morning by a fire captain and firefighter who had followed the girls' boot tracks, Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said.

"This is an absolute miracle," he said.

Though the girls were dehydrated and cold, they were uninjured and "in good spirits," Honsal said.

He said the girls were trained in outdoor survival through their local 4-H club and that authorities believed that helped them. They also were wearing boots and had eaten granola bars at some point while they were missing, he said.

"To have a positive outcome like this is just absolutely amazing," Honsal said.

Using helicopters and tracking dogs, dozens of police and rescue personnel combed a vast and rugged rural area in the frantic search for the sisters.

The girls had last been seen around 2:30 p.m. Friday outside their home in Benbow, a small community about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of Sacramento.

The searchers included National Guard members from Fresno and the U.S. Coast Guard, which provided one of its helicopters on top of a Black Hawk helicopter also being used.

Rescuers were hopeful about finding the girls Saturday after they came across prints from the girls' rubber boots and wrappers from the granola bars, Lt. Mike Fridley said.

"The wrappers showed us a direction from where they started to where the wrappers ended up at," Fridley said.

Fridley said he was the one who got to call the girls' mother and tell them her daughters were alive.

"She melted on the phone," he said.

Honsal described the search area as vast, rugged and rural and the conditions as cold and sporadically rainy.

18 PHOTOS
Lisa Sheridan on TV and red carpets
See Gallery
Lisa Sheridan on TV and red carpets
Lisa Sheridan (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
PERCEPTION - 'Toxic' - Moretti questions why Pierce is working a case without her after he accepts an invitation from a renowned environmental activist. The case involves a chain of abnormal neurological reactions, but Pierce's examination of the group of young girls involved uncovers a dark secret, on 'Perception' airing TUESDAY, JULY 16 (10:00-11:00 p.m.), on TNT. (ABC Studios Photo by Trae Patton via Getty Images) ERIC MCCORMACK, LISA SHERIDAN
Ron Livingston and Lisa Sheridan during The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards - InStyle/ Warner Bros Golden Globe After Party - Inside at Palm Court at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 22: Actress Lisa Sheridan attends the premiere of 'Only God Can' at Laemmle NoHo 7 on March 22, 2016 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
SCANDAL - 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' - Olivia and the team are hired by an up and coming politician, Peter Caldwell (Eric Mobias), but this time instead of fixing a scandal, they're playing high-powered matchmaker. Meanwhile, David is trying to leave the past behind him, but when he feels like he's being followed, he finally turns to the team at OPA for help. Back at the White House, Fitz is still struggling with whom to trust and how to handle a delicate hostage situation, and Jake just won't take no for an answer when it comes to dating Olivia, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Danny Feld/ABC via Getty Images) LISA SHERIDAN, ERIC MABIUS
Lisa Sheridan during 2006 ABC Network All-Star Party - Arrivals and Inside at The Wind Tunnel in Pasadena, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)
JOURNEYMAN -- 'Home by Another Way' Episode 11 -- Pictured: (l-r) Barbara Tarbuck as Barbara Vasser, Lisa Sheridan as Dr. Theresa Sanchez (Photo by Justin Lubin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Ron Livingston and Lisa Sheridan during HBO's Band of Brothers Hollywood Premiere at Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
Lisa Sheridan (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
Lisa Sheridan during Ok! Magazine US Debut Launch Party - Arrivals at LAX in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
Ron Livingston and Lisa Sheridan (Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage)
Lisa Sheridan during E! Entertainment Television's 2005 Summer Splash Event - Inside at Tropicana at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Lisa Sheridan of 'Invasion' during ABC 2005 Press Tour - Day 2 at Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)
Ron Livingston and fiancee Lisa Sheridan during 'Little Black Book' New York Premiere - Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic)
Ron Livingston and Lisa Sheridan (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Ron Livingston and Lisa Sheridan (Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)
Lisa Sheridan and Ron Livingston (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 9: Actor Ron Livingston and Lisa Sheridan attend the 9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on March 9, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.