Home / National News / Calif. Rescuers Focus on Missing Hiker After Partner Found Alive


(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — Family and friends are sharing mixed emotions Thursday in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., after one of two missing teen hikers was found alive Wednesday night.

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, was located by another hiker, who was not a part of the search efforts, in a thick brush shortly before sundown, officials said.

Authorities have shifted their attention to the whereabouts of Kyndall Jack, 18.  She was with Cendoya hiking in Southern California’s Cleveland National Forest when the pair went missing Sunday night.

The hiker who spotted Cendoya went for help and found firefighters on an unrelated mission nearby.  A helicopter brought Cendoya to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, where he was listed in serious condition.

Cendoya was located about a half-mile south of where much of the search had focused.

“He is weak, severely dehydrated and slightly confused,” Division Chief Kris Concepcion of the Orange County Fire Authority said.

Rescue crews worked through the night, scouring the rough terrain in hopes of finding Jack.

“We will be asking Nick, as he can give us information, then we will hopefully use that in searching for Kyndall,” Concepcion added.

Those involved with the search efforts believe the favorable weather conditions could be working in Jack’s favor.

“There have been cases where people have survived 78, 96 hours, even more than that,” Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Jon Muir said.

Jack and Cendoya, 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.  They said they thought they were only about a mile from their car before their cellphone apparently died.  Police were unable to pinpoint their exact location.

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