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Rescue Workers Searching For Missing Hikers Airlifted From Trabuco Canyon

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MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA.com) — Two rescue workers who became trapped while searching for two hikers who went missing on Easter Sunday were airlifted out of Trabuco Canyon by a rescue helicopter early Wednesday evening.

Authorities and search crews have been searching the Cleveland National Forest in Orange County for Nicolas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, for four days.

The Costa Mesa residents contacted Orange County Sheriff’s deputies by cell phone around 8:30 p.m. Sunday asking for help in finding their way back to their car, but their cell phone lost power before authorities were able to pinpoint an accurate GPS location.

After losing contact, deputies began searching on the ground, in the air and on horseback for the hikers in the area below Saddleback Peak.

A possible break in the investigation Tuesday narrowed down the search to Holy Jim Canyon trailhead near Trabuco Canyon.

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, told deputies they believed they were about one mile from their vehicle on Sunday night. (courtesy OCSD)

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, told deputies they believed they were about one mile from their vehicle on Sunday night. (courtesy OCSD)

“Our blood hound Sadie picked up a scent at one of the trail heads, so we are deploying several mutual aid teams,” Lt. Erin Giudice said. “There’s a very real possibility they could be injured and aren’t able to get out of wherever they are.”

Early Wednesday morning, deputies investigated a claim by volunteer searchers that they saw a flicker of light in the hillside. No additional information on that lead has been released.

Volunteers from Orange, San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside counties have come out to aid in the search.

Cendoya and Jack are both students at Cal State Fullerton.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts should call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000.

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