On November 22, 2016 at about 4:18 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a telephone call from a 14 year old female reporting she was lost in the woods in the Ridgewood area. The female was told to stay put and attempt to preserve her cell phone battery. Her cellular telephone was “pinged” which provided a detailed location. Deputies responded to the area and were able to make voice contact with her, but could not physically locate her. A PAGER 30 was initiated. A PAGER 30 is a process in which all Humboldt County Sheriff’s Posse Search and Rescue volunteers are notified that they are needed for a search and rescue in progress. The HCSO mobile command post was set up in the Berry Lane area and the US Coast Guard was contacted with a request for helicopter assistance. Three search teams were deployed, two of which were HCSO/Posse members and one team of citizen volunteers. The volunteer team was able to locate the female unharmed. After about an hour it was learned that the volunteer search team and juvenile were stuck and unable to make it out of the woods. The USCG helicopter had been on scene searching and left once the juvenile was located. The helicopter returned by request, and at 2:14 a.m. hoisted all 3 people out of the woods. They were then all flown to the Heli-pad located a St. Joseph Hospital. The juvenile was treated at the hospital and later released to family.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the USCG and the citizen volunteers for their help. It should be noted the Sheriff’s Posse Search and Rescue team is comprised completely of volunteers and operates entirely off donations at no expense to tax payers.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.