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Two Missing O.C. Hikers Rescued

missing-hikers19-year-old Nicholas Cendoya and 18-year-old Kyndall Jack were rescued separately days after they went missing while hiking in the Trabuco Canyon area of Orange County.

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TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. (KTLA) — One of two teen hikers missing in Trabuco Canyon is recovering in the hospital after being found alive, while the search continues for his companion.

There were cheers from family and friends when searchers found 19-year-old Nicholas Cendoya around 8 p.m Wednesday.

Authorities got a tip from hikers in the area who made contact with a training team from the Orange County Fire Authority.

They indicated where they believed they had found Nicholas, and that team was able to coordinate with their airship to rescue him.

Officials said the area where Nicholas was found had extremely dense brush, said Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jason Park.

Rescuers who were lowered from the airship had to cut through the brush, and said the level of visibility was less than 10 feet on the ground.

Cendoya was disoriented and confused, and was wearing only board shorts, with no shirt.

He was airlifted to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, where he was listed in stable condition.

Meantime, the active search continues 18-year-old Kyndall Jack, who has now spent four nights out in the elements.

“Our mission will start directly in the area of where we found Nicholas yesterday,” Park said Thursday morning. “We have personnel moving out to those locations in a variety of ways.”

Authorities said they hoped to have three airships up scouring the area once conditions cleared.

They will also be using search dogs, which they think might be their best bet to find Kyndall in the thick brush.

“It’s reasonable that they would be disoriented, that they’d get separated,” Park said. “Since we found Nicholas, we’re optimistic that we’re going to find Kyndall.”

Cendoya told authorities he thought they had been separated possibly since Sunday night, but he has no recollection about how they got separated.

When Nicholas was found, he said believed Kyndall had already been rescued. Authorities also said the pair had only brought one bottle of water.

Officials were asking the public to stay out of the area to avoid complicating search dogs’ efforts to track Kyndall’s scent.

The search began on Sunday night, after the Costa Mesa teenagers contacted authorities via cellphone around 8:30 p.m. asking for help.

They told deputies they believed they were about a mile from their car, but they couldn’t find their way back.

Their cellphone battery died before authorities were able to get an accurate GPS location for the pair. Authorities subsequently located their green BMW.

The location where Nicholas was found was about a half-mile from the car.

Hundreds of friends and family have turned out to join in the search for Cendoya and Jack. Even strangers have pitched in to help.

A Facebook page called Costa Mesa Search Party was created, with many posting to coordinate rides to the trail head.

Orange County officials were spearheading the search, with help from Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties.

Anyone with information on the Kyndall Jack’s whereabouts is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000.

TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. (KTLA) — One of two missing hikers was found alive in the Cleveland National Forest Wednesday night.

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, is being airlifted out of a canyon and will be taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.

Cendoya is suffering from exposure.

Kyndall Jack, 18, remains missing.

Stefan Chase reports.

TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. (KTLA) — The search for two teen hikers missing in Trabuco Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest is in its third day on Wednesday.

A limited search took place overnight Tuesday due to the darkness. The full search resumed at daylight.

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, contacted authorities via cellphone around 8:30 p.m. Sunday asking for help.

They told deputies they believed they were about a mile from their car, but they couldn’t find their way back.

Authorities have located their car, a green BMW, but so far have not been able to locate the hikers.

Their cellphone battery died before authorities were able to get an accurate GPS location for the pair.

At around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, search volunteer Don Morrison said he and some others noticed nine to 12 tiny sparks — light from a cigarette lighter.

They called the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which sent out two units.

They didn’t see the light when they arrived, but authorities believe it is a positive sign. They were planning to focus the airship on that area after daybreak.

Hundreds of friends and family have turned out to join in the search for Cendoya and Jack.

Search and rescue vans full of people arrived at the command post on Tuesday, including dozens of teenagers.

A Facebook page called Costa Mesa Search Party has since been created, with many posting to coordinate rides to the trail head.

More than 50 search and rescue crews with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the O.C. Fire Authority searched on foot and in the air.

Even strangers have pitched in to help, hiking through the steep terrain crowded with thick brush and trees.

Crews found clothing items on the trail — a bandana and a pair of jeans — but it was determined they don’t belong to the missing hikers.

A clue more promising — investigators say a K9 unit picked up a scent near Holy Jim Canyon.

Search crews have since concentrated their efforts in that area. Authorities say they believe the teens are still alive.

“I believe they took a detour, I believe they did get off the trail and that’s where the trouble started,” said Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Erin Guidice.

“The growing concern would be that they have injured themselves and they are under the tree cover and we’re unable to find them by air.”

Orange County officials are spearheading the search, with help from Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the teenagers is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000.

Hundreds of friends and family of missing teen hikers Nicholas Cendoya and Kyndall Jack spent the entire day today hoping to find the pair.

An effort formed on Facebook – the Costa Mesa search party – more than 300 friends saying they’ll come here to Trabuco Canyon to help.

Earlier today, more than 50 search and rescue crews with Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and  Orange County Fire Authority searching on foot and in the air – looking for Nicholas and Kyndall.

Even strangers pitching in to help..hiking though the steep terrain – crowded with thick brush and trees.

Earlier today – crews found clothing items on the trail, a bandana and a pair of jeans – but it was determined they don’t belong to the hikers.

A clue  more promising – investigators say a canine unit picked up a scent near Holy Jim Canyon – search crews have since concentrated their efforts in that area.

“I believe they’re still alive,” said Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Erin Guidice.

Even with that reassurance – patience is wearing thin for families and friends of the missing – now that they’ve been missing more than 48 hours.

“I feel like after all the searching they would have been found,” says friend Sarah.

Tonight – plenty of  concern for the hikers and what may have happened to them here in Trabuco Canyon.

Sarah Suza says she’s fighting to stay positive during this long search – she’s hoping her friends are found before another night passes.

“I know nick he’s strong he’s gonna make it through this!”

– Stefan Chase, KTLA News

TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. — Rescue crews are searching for two hikers lost in Holy Jim Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest.

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, contacted authorities via cellphone Sunday night asking for help.

But the phone died before the call could be traced.

Stefan Chase has more.

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