One of two missing O.C. hikers is found alive in Trabuco Canyon

One of two hikers missing in the Trabuco Canyon area of Orange County since Easter Sunday was found alive Wednesday night, authorities said.

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, was was being taken to a trauma center, authorities said. Search crews had not found his hiking partner, Kyndall Jack, 18, but were scouring the area.


Cendoya was “dehydrated and very confused,” Lt. Jason Park of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department told The Times. Cendoya was found about half a mile from where the two had parked their vehicle.

“We’re confident that we will find Kyndall,” Park said.

The Costa Mesa residents have been the subject of intense search efforts by officials and volunteers on the ground and in the air.

Jack and Cendoya got lost Easter Sunday, telling authorities by cellphone late that evening that they were about a mile from their car in Holy Jim Canyon. But their phone lost power soon afterward, and no contact had been made since.

Bloodhounds picked up Jack and Cendoya’s scents early Monday and again late Monday night, officials said. Tuesday afternoon, rescuers combed through a two-mile arc from the hikers’ car, focusing efforts where the dogs had last found the scents.

The rocky, tree-shaded dirt trail the two took leads to a waterfall. The 2.8-mile round trip is popular with day hikers. Its difficulty is listed as moderate to serious on a U.S. Forest Service website. Jack and Cendoya, however, “did not keep to the trail,” Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Erin Guidice said.


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