Search for missing girls in California stretches into third day

EUREKA, Calif. — Using helicopters and tracking dogs, dozens of police and rescue personnel were combing a vast and rugged rural area Sunday in the frantic search for two young sisters missing from their California home.

Leia Carrico, 8, and Caroline Carrico, 5, were last seen about 2:30 p.m. Friday outside their home in Benbow, a small community about 200 miles northwest of Sacramento.

The searchers include National Guard members from Fresno and the U.S. Coast Guard, which provided one of its helicopters on top of a Black Hawk helicopter also being used.

They had not found the girls by Sunday morning.

On Saturday rescuers were hopeful after finding prints from the girls’ rubber boots and wrappers from granola bars their mother had recently bought. Lt. Mike Fridley said.

“The wrappers showed us a direction from where they started to where the wrappers ended up at,” Fridley said. “It’s kind of like a chess game as information comes in.”

Law enforcement asked the public not to join the search efforts both because of the rugged terrain and because they’re worried volunteers could damage evidence left by the girls, like more boot prints.

The girls went missing less than an hour after their mother told them they couldn’t go out for a walk, said Sheriff William Honsal.

He described the search area as vast, rugged and rural and the conditions as cold and sporadically rainy.

The National Weather Service shows that the area would be in the 40s overnight, with a rainstorm in the forecast Tuesday.

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