Missing Sisters Found in California Forest Speak Out About Their Survival in the Woods

After spending 44 hours in the rugged wilderness of Northern California, two young sisters are sharing their adventures of being lost in the woods.

As previously reported by For Every Mom, 8-year-old Leia Carrico and her 5-year-old sister, Caroline, first went missing from their home in Humbolt County on Friday afternoon around 3pm. They were found two days later on Sunday morning with the help of expanded search and rescue teams.

They shared their experience Monday with The Today Show.

After their mother refused to take them on a walk Friday afternoon, the girls decided to follow adventure anyway.

“Leia wanted a little tiny more adventure but I wanted more,” Caroline admitted.

With just two granola bars in their pockets, and pink rubber boots on their feet, the girls ended up lost, 1.4 miles south of their home.

When they realized they were lost, the girls ate their granola bars and drank water droplets off leaves, using survival skills they learned from 4-H wilderness training.

“It was starting to drizzle so I knew we had to find shelter fast,” Leia said. “We found shelter, a tree branch, close to the ground and we had my sister’s rain jacket to keep us warm.”

But temperatures Friday night dropped close to freezing in the woods, which is known locally as mountain lion country.

“My sister cried the whole night so I told her to think happy thoughts of our family,” Leia said.

More than 200 volunteers helped search for the girls over the weekend, including personnel from 21 law enforcement and military agencies, 12 K-9 units, and two helicopter crews. The girls said they saw the helicopters circling above, so they stayed in place and waited for help.

Though she tried to put on a brave front for her little sister Caroline, Leia admitted she felt scared.

“I felt a little nervous — and a little afraid, but I knew dad would find us eventually,” she said.

The girls’ mother, Misty Carrico, says she only turned her back on them for a few minutes. But it was long enough for them to wander far beyond her reach.

After two nights of hiding out in the woods, it was eventually their granola bar wrappers and footprints in the mud that led rescue workers to find the girls Sunday morning.

“I’m just so happy to have my girls back,” said their father, Travis Carrico. “It really is a miracle.”

Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of foreverymom.com. An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook.

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