(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — Search teams and scores of volunteers will be combing through a vast southern California canyon for a third straight day on Wednesday in a race against time to find two teens who have been missing since the weekend.
Kyndall Jack, 18, and Nicholas Cendoya, 19, both of Costa Mesa, Calif., called authorities Sunday night and told police they were lost and had run out of water while hiking in Trabuco Canyon. The pair said they thought they were only about a mile from their car before their cellphone apparently died. Police were not able to pinpoint their exact location.
“We’re looking for footprints. We have articles of clothing from each of the subjects,” Orange County Sheriff’s Department Reserve Lt. Chuck Williams said on Tuesday.
Bloodhounds picked up Jack and Cendoya’s scent Monday in two locations but police fear that they may be injured.
“If these two were ambulatory, I believe they should have walked out or yelled for help,” Orange County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Erin Giudice said on Tuesday.
Authorities say they’re focusing on a 2-mile arc in the Cleveland National Forest, starting from where the teen’s car was found.
“I just hope she is found. She’s not a very experienced hiker,” Jack’s mother, Dawn, said.
Jack’s father, Russ, is growing more concerned by the minute and feels his daughter is running out of time.
“They don’t have any water to drink. I’m sure they don’t have heavy jackets or anything,” he said.
Search teams and volunteers have fanned out across the area by foot, air and on horseback.
A Facebook page called “Costa Mesa Search Party” has been created to help in the search efforts with people posting coordinates of where they searched for the two teens. Others on the page are offering food and water to those involved in the search.
“I want my daughter found. I want Nick to be found as well,” said Russ. “We’re not going to give up.”
Authorities believe that the favorable weather conditions and age of the teens are working in their favor.
“I’m still very hopeful. They are still young kids. They are very healthy. We will find them,” Giudice said.
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