News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: March 3, 2019

Benbow missing girls found safe

Leia and Caroline Carrico reunited with family

Search and rescue teams have located Caroline and Leia Carrico alive and well, more than 44 hours after they were last seen in Southern Humboldt County.

On March 3, 2019, around 10:30 a.m., searchers Delbert Chumley and Abram Hill from the Piercy Volunteer Fire Department located the two girls approximately 1.4 miles away from their home in Benbow.

Chumley and Hill located boot prints believed to belong to the girls around 8:30 a.m. today, March 3. Those tracks led the team southeast to an area near Richardson Grove State Park. Caroline and Leia responded when crew members called out to them. The girls were located huddled together under a bush. The sisters were evaluated by medical personnel for dehydration and given water and warm, dry clothing. They were reunited with family shortly after being located. The girls told first responders that they were following a deer trail when they had become lost. The two decided to stay put, drinking fresh water from Huckleberry leaves.

More than 250 personnel from across the state responded to assist in this operation. TheHumboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all of the agencies and jurisdictions involved in bringing Caroline and Leia home safe. We would like to especially thank theGovernor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) for their assistance in coordinating agency response from across the state, the California National Guard for their ground and air support provided, and Mendocino, Napa and Marin counties for helping organize the search and rescue operation.

Agencies involved included:

  • California Office of Emergency Services
  • Humboldt Bay Fire
  • Piercy Volunteer Fire Department
  • Redway Fire
  • Fortuna Fire
  • CAL FIRE
  • Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue
  • Humboldt County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse
  • California Highway Patrol
  • California National Guard
  • United States Coast Guard
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • California State Parks
  • Salmon Creek Fire

Counties represented included:

  • Mendocino County
  • Marin County
  • Trinity County
  • Napa County
  • Alameda County
  • Solano County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Sonoma County
  • Lake County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Siskiyou County
  • Del Norte County
  • Placer County
  • El Dorado County
  • San Mateo County
  • Nevada County

The public tip line established by the Sheriff’s Office has now been deactivated.

The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank the public for their overwhelming support during this entire effort. Throughout this process we have received several inquiries from those who wanted to help in the ground search effort. We encourage all who would like to get involved in future searches to consider applying for our Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse This is a volunteer posse that is deployed to all of our local (and many out of the area) search and rescue operations. Find out how to join here: http://www.humboldtsar.com.

A video of today's press conference can be found here, courtesy of North Coast News TV: https://youtu.be/G73kxCIrLvY

Sgt. Kerry Ireland, Abram Hill, Delbert Chummy and Sheriff William HonsalDelbert Chumley (right center) and Abram Hill (left center) from Piercy Volunteer Fire found Leia and Caroline 1.4 miles southeast of their Benbow home. Pictured with Sgt. Kerry Ireland (left) and Sheriff William Honsal (right).

Caroline Carrico speaking with search party

Caroline Carrico is assessed by search crews. 

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