A father and two children who had been missing in a Northern California forest since Tuesday have been found safe, the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
The father, identified by NBC Bay Area as Nicholas Vlahos, the owner of a popular Oakland barbershop, was driving his black Toyota Tundra 4x4 pickup truck through a forest in western Sierra County when the truck slipped off the road and into a ditch.
Vhalos and his 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter were reported missing when they didn’t come home from their camping trip, authorities said.
The area is rugged, full of trees and isolated. The group was hard to find, in part, because the truck blended in with the dark forest trees, said Sierra County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michelle Anderson.
But because the group had been there camping, they were well-prepared for the elements, authorities said.
Until they were found by a National Guard helicopter about 8 p.m. Thursday, Vlahos and his children made do. They had a campfire and were well-fed when they were found, Anderson said.
Vhalos told authorities they put water bottles by the creek and hung pink blankets in the trees in hopes of being spotted. They were reuinted with family Thursday night and spent the night in the area, Anderson said.
Now all that’s left to do, she said, is figure out how to get Vhalos’ truck out of the ditch.
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