Missing NorCal Sisters Found Safe In Wilderness Describe Ordeal

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office shows Leia Carrico 8 left and her sister Caroline Carrico 5

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office shows Leia Carrico 8 left and her sister Caroline Carrico 5

"This is an absolute miracle". "They definitely have a survival story to tell".

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

Honsal called the wilderness where the girls were found "rugged territory" and an "extreme environment" at the news conference announcing their rescue.

"This was rugged territory, this is an extreme environment and how they were out there for 44 hours is pretty wonderful but it shows a resilience of people that actually grew up in this community".

"They [the girls] were trained through 4-H for outdoor survival, we believe that played a part" in their survival, Honsal said. "It was pretty incredible".

The girls wandered off from their home in Benbow, along Highway 101 in the northwest corner of the state, the sheriff's office said.

The search covered more than a dozen square miles, officials said, before Delbert Chumley and Abram Hill from the Piercy Volunteer Fire Department found the girls about a mile and a half from where they had taken off.

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He said the first responders provided them with fresh warm clothes and water.

Misty Carrico, the children's mother - who said she feared the worst before her girls were found - added, "I'm the proudest mom".

More than 100 police and rescue personnel were searching for them, including the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The sisters' father, Travis Carrico, said: "I'm just so happy to have my girls back".

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

"I felt a little nervous and a little afraid, but I knew Dad would find us", Leia said.

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

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