The two young sisters who were lost alone for 44 hours in the woods have revealed how they survived.
Leia and Caroline Carrico, aged eight and five, had gone for a walk in the wooded area outside their home in Benbow, California, on Friday at 2.30pm.
But they after losing their way, they braved near-freezing temperatures for almost two days before rescuers found them.
The girls had asked their mother Misty Carrico if they could go for a walk. She said no, but they grabbed some granola bars and wandered off.
‘Leia wanted a little tiny adventure, but I wanted more,’ Caroline told NBC Bay Area.
Soon, the sisters realized they were lost. But, thankfully, they had learned survival skills from their parents and local 4-H club.
‘It was starting to drizzle, so I knew we had to find shelter fast,’ Leia said.
‘We found shelter, a tree branch close to the ground, and we had my sister’s rain jacket to keep us warm.’
‘[Caroline] used the sunhat as a pillow, and we used the rain jacket as a blanket. I knew how to start a fire cause I would watch a lot of tropical paradise movies.’
The girls drank water droplets off leaves and ate their granola bars.
‘We were pretty hungry, our bellies grumbled the whole night,’ Leia said.
Temperatures dropped as it became dark and Caroline became afraid, as the area was known for mountain lion attacks.
‘My sister cried the whole night, so I told her to think happy thoughts of our family and I kept watch for most of the night,’ Leia said.
‘I felt a little nervous and a little afraid, but I knew dad would find us.’
In the morning, the girls went to the creek and sang nursery rhymes at the top of their lungs.
Leia and Caroline had been taught to stay in the same place, and continued to seek shelter under the huckleberry bush as they spent a second night in the woods.
The sisters could see US Coast Guard and Black Hawk helicopters circling above as more than 200 people combed the vast and rugged rural area.
Rescuers eventually located the girls’ granola wrappers and came across footprints from their rain boots.
‘The wrappers showed us a direction from where they started to where the wrappers ended up at,’ Lt Mike Fridley said during a press conference.
Leia and Caroline were found around 10.30am on Sunday. They were 1.4 miles away from home.
Though they were dehydrated and cold, the sisters were uninjured and in good spirits.
‘I am pleased to report that we are all witnessing a miracle today,’ Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said during a press conference on Sunday.
‘To have a positive outcome like this is just absolutely amazing.’
‘This is rugged territory, this is an extreme environment. How they were out there for 44 hours is pretty amazing.’
It was an emotional scene for the Carrico family as they were reunited with Leia and Caroline.
Parents Travis and Misty were seen hugging and kissing their daughters after they were rescued.
‘I was so happy that I hugged daddy and mommy so tight,’ Caroline said.
‘I’m just so happy to have my girls back,’ Travis added. ‘It really is a miracle.’
Misty said she was the ‘proudest mom’ and that she had raised ‘superheroes’.
‘They did the right thing,’ she added. ‘They might have wandered off, but they stuck together and pulled themselves through. They saved each other.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, by Anneta Kostantinides