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Search for O.C. hikers cost $160,000, but they won't be billed

A five-day search to find two missing Orange County hikers cost more than $160,000, but the hikers will not be billed for the effort, officials said.

Nicolas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, both of Costa Mesa, called authorities about 8 p.m. Easter Sunday from Trabuco Canyon, saying they were lost but thought they were a mile from their car. The cellphone died soon after.

The search-and-rescue effort to find the young adults took 1,907 hours, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Two other sheriff's departments, the California Emergency Management Agency, the Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Parks staffers joined the search.

The cost includes helicopter services, salaries and supplies, according to a breakdown provided by the sheriff Tuesday.

An Orange County reserve deputy who fell 60 feet during Jack's rescue continues to recover at home, authorities said.


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