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Couple Missing in Mendocino National Forest Found Safe

A couple that had been missing for days in the Mendocino National Forest has been found alive.

Posted: Feb 4, 2019 4:38 AM
Updated: Feb 5, 2019 1:15 AM

UPDATE 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 - A couple that had been missing for days in the Mendocino National Forest has been found alive.

Searchers have located Carlos Hernandez, Jr., 21, and his girlfriend, Maia Herman-Kitami, 18. They were found Monday afternoon in the mountains of the forest. They had disappeared while on a camping trip, and were reported missing Saturday night.

Crews from both the Glenn and Mendocino County Sheriff's Offices found the couple stuck in their jeep in the snow on County Road 312, in an area known as Oceanview.

The Glenn County Sheriff's Office says the couple were in good spirits.


UPDATE 11:10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 - Search and rescue teams were able to use helicopters to search the Mendocino National Forest on Monday, but have not found Hernandez and Herman-Kitami. 

Stay with Action News Now for the latest updates as they become available. 


MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. - A young couple was reported missing after not returning from a camping trip to Mendocino National Forest, now search and rescue efforts are underway.  

Carlos Hernandez Jr., 21, and Maia Herman-Kitami, 18, from San Francisco were set to go camping in Alder Springs from Jan. 30 - Feb.1. They planned to go off-roading in Carlos’s yellow Jeep Wrangler. Carlos and his father had visited the area several times before and mapped out the coordinates for this trip ahead of time.

They were reported missing on Friday, Feb. 1 when they did not return as planned and family members could not get in contact with them. A snowstorm passed through the area over the weekend, causing more concern that they were in dangerously cold conditions. According to Carlos's sister, the two were well prepared with equipment that should keep them warm, but they may not have enough food.

Their last known contact to their family was through text on Jan. 30 around 5:40 p.m. saying that they were losing service but would text when they arrived at the campground.

Search and rescue efforts began the morning of the Feb. 3 and continued throughout the evening. The Glenn County Sheriff's Office says the search was hindered by the snow, and crews could not use helicopters in their search.

Officials say that throughout the search they have tried to track the couple’s phones, but they are either out of service or turned off.

These pictures were provided by Carlos’s sister.

The couple is traveling in a 2004 yellow Jeep Wrangler with license plate number 7NAJ240

Anyone with information is asked to call the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 934-6441.

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