Calif. hikers won't have to pay $160K rescue costs

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Associated Press

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 15 at 9:04 AM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Two hikers lost for days in the Southern California wilderness won't be charged the $160,000 it took to find them.

The Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/13wreAd ) reports county supervisors made that decision in closed session on Tuesday. Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson tells City News Service he thinks there's no legal way to force the hikers to reimburse their rescue costs — even though one is charged with a drug crime.

Nineteen-year-old Nicolas Cendoya and 18-year-old Kyndall Jack were rescued from the Cleveland National Forest last month after spending several days there without food or much water.

Authorities say methamphetamine was later found in Cendoya's car. He's been charged with felony possession and could get up to three years in prison if convicted.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

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