Every parent’s worst nightmare is for their child to get hurt of go missing. When a child doesn’t come home, parents go into panic mode and desperately try to find them.

Travis and Misty Carrico live on 80 acres of land in a rural town called Garberville, which is about 200 miles north of San Francisco in California. They have two daughters, Caroline, who is 5 years old, and Leia, who is 8 years old. The family spends a lot of time outdoors.

On Friday, Caroline and Leia decided to go for a walk. This was not uncommon, and their parents weren’t concerned when the girls didn’t return right away; however, as time went on and the girls still didn’t return home, even Dad was in tears wondering where his daughters could be.

The whole community banded together to search for the missing sisters, and their parents looked everywhere they could think to look while trying not to fear the worst.

Finally, on Sunday, rescuers noticed a trail of granola bar wrappers and footprints. They followed those clues and eventually found the girls at 10:30am. At this point, the sisters had been missing for 44 hours; that’s two whole nights alone in the wilderness. Amazingly, the girls were okay, hungry and cold, but okay otherwise.

So, what happened? The girls simply got lost and couldn’t find their way home. They used a huckleberry bush for shelter and a raincoat as a blanket. They even drank water off of huckleberry leaves. Leia said she was “nervous and a little afraid.” Leia also said that “It felt so cold our hands turned white” and “our bellies grumbled the whole night.”

Misty believes the wilderness training that the girls received in 4H played a huge part in their ability to stay safe while they were lost and alone. She said, “They saved each other. I’m the proudest mom. I raised superheroes.”

Piercy Fire Chief Delbert Crumley and firefighter Abram Hill were the ones who found the two girls. They were about 1.4 miles away from home. Lt. Mike Fridley had the privilege of letting their mom know the girls had been found, but their phone call was short since Misty was too overcome with emotion to talk.

For more on this miraculous story, and to hear how the community banded together to find the missing sisters, watch the video below.


Do you think you could survive in the wilderness for 44 hours without food or shelter?