One of two missing Costa Mesa teen hikers has been found alive but disoriented and seriously dehydrated, and the second is still missing in the California canyon in which they became lost Sunday evening.
Nicholas Cendoya is one of the two hikers, and searchers located him last night in Trabuco Canyon. Cendoya, 19, had been hiking with friend Kyndall Jack, 18, when the two teens became lost in Southern California’s Cleveland National Forest.
The pair of hikers made an emergency call to report they’d been unable to find their car, and that they’d run out of water.
Cendoya was found by another hiker and is now listed as in “serious condition” at a local hospital. Authorities say the teen was “weak, severely dehydrated and slightly confused” and had difficulty articulating how and when he became separated from Jack.
A recent update to the Facebook page used to organize the search for Cendoya and Jack read:
“UPDATE: NICK HAS FOUND AND TRANSPORTED TO MEDICAL AID. RESCUERS ARE STILL SEARCHING FOR KYNDALL. KEEP GOOD THOUGHTS AND USE KIND JUDGMENT IN POSTING SENSITIVE INFO HEARD ON COMMS. FAMILIES SHOULD HEAR VIA PROPER AUTHORITIES ANY SENSITIVE CONDITION/HEALTH INFO AND POSTS THAT ARE INSENSITIVE OR UNCONFIRMED MAY BE REMOVED.”
ABC reports that Cendoya was found just outside the concentrated search area, in brush so thick that it was difficult to maintain visibility on his location during the course of the rescue:
“At the time, Cendoya was talking to paramedics but struggling to answer questions about what had happened and where his hiking companion was … Cendoya was found about a half-mile south of where much of the search had focused. He was surrounded by so much vegetation that the helicopter rescue crew had trouble keeping track of him once they’d found him.”
Searchers maintain they are “confident” Kyndall Jack will be found in the Costa Mesa wilderness.