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Teen hiker who spent days lost gets drug charge for meth allegedly found in search

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April 7, 2013: Nicolas Cendoya, 19, of Costa Mesa, credits God for rescuing him after being released from Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Calif. (AP)

One of the two teenage hikers who were rescued after a four-day search of Southern California wilderness has been charged with felony methamphetamine possession.

The Orange County Register reported Wednesday that prosecutors charged 19-year-old Nicolas Cendoya after authorities found the drug in his vehicle while responding to their disappearance.

Cendoya and 18-year-old Kyndall Jack called investigators from Holy Jim Canyon on Easter Sunday, saying they were lost and their cellphone was dying.

Cendoya was discovered three days later, dehydrated and delirious. Jack was found the next day, hypothermic and confused.

Both recalled little from their ordeal, beyond hallucinations.

The search to find them required 1,900 man-hours and cost taxpayers an estimated $160,000. A deputy was injured while trying to rescue Jack.

Cendoya faces up to three years in jail if convicted.

 

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