Missing teenagers found safe

Jul 11, 2014 1:01 PM by News Staff

Two boys missing in Butte Meadows since yesterday afternoon have been found safe and sound.

It was scene of pure joy and relief in Butte Meadows as a mother and son were reunited late Friday morning, after some afternoon tubing turned into a night apart in Mother Nature.

This was the first camping trip for one of the 13-year-old boys, Emiliano Ramirez. The other boy, Kyle Saunders, used his wits and camping experience to keep them safe overnight.

It was also the wits and familiarity of the area that led one Butte Meadows resident to think about checking out the logging roads that lead to Highway 32, along with the boys' uncles, where these 13-year-olds were ultimately found.

"They looked like they were in great shape, and they said they'd spent the night and on the way back showed me where," said Butte Meadows resident Douglas Carpenter, who said he found the boys after taking his ATV Ranger 10 miles down a logging road that led to Highway 32.

And to his surprise, and the boys' uncles he brought with, they came across the boys, waving their inner tubes.

"Amazed," Carpenter said. "You know because it's such a long road, because when you get out there 10 miles, you're thinking nah, this is a wild goose chase."

The search started at 8pm last night, after the mothers stopped at Sally Thompson's home and told her their boys were missing.

Thompson called volunteer fire, and the search and rescue mission was put into motion, including 20 searchers from Butte County Search and Rescue, Cal Fire, and a CHP helicopter, lasting until 2am.

"We had a very interesting evening with four men with flashlights going up each side of the creek and the helicopters this morning," Thompson said. "And I'm just delighted they found them wherever they did."

After missing their exit downstream, the boys walked along a strange dirt road, wearing only water shoes and board shorts before using those inner tubes wisely come nightfall.

"We covered this one with our feet and then the other tube that's in the back of the truck--we covered that on the ground, so we wouldn't be poked by sticks, [and then] took the cover off that one and used it as a blanket," Kyle Saunders said.

And despite seeing two bobcats and getting rained on, the two kept each other going.

"Just gotta keep on living," said Saunders.

Butte County Search and Rescue said these boys traveled maybe 8-10 miles downstream.

They said while accidents do happen, they also consider something like this 100% preventable, had there been adult supervision.


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