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Rescuers Find Lost Chatsworth Girl in Malibu After Dark, in Rain

Kierra Sewell, 17, and an 18-year-old man from West Hills managed to make a call before their phones went dead.

Chris Epperson of West Hills and 17-year-old Kierra Sewell of Chatsworth, being interviewed by a television news crew. Photo courtesy of Malibu Search and Rescue Captain David Katz.
Chris Epperson of West Hills and 17-year-old Kierra Sewell of Chatsworth, being interviewed by a television news crew. Photo courtesy of Malibu Search and Rescue Captain David Katz.

Two missing teenage hikers were rescued in the Malibu mountains in conditions of near zero visibility, authorities said today.

The hikers, 18-year-old Chris Epperson of West Hills and 17-year-old Kierra Sewell of Chatsworth had set out to hike into Newton Canyon with their dog around 3 p.m. Thursday, Malibu Search and Rescue Captain David Katz said.

Around 6 p.m., with the weather turning cold and wet, the couple realized they were lost and called a parent, Katz said.

With their cell phones out of charge, and a low fog ceiling grounding a search helicopter, searchers began looking for the teens several miles from where their hike began, at the Newton Canyon trailhead, Katz said.

Katz said rescuers drove an SUV along a fire road with visibility reduced to 15 feet, sounding its horn and siren. When the teens heard the vehicle, they stopped and waited for it.

The teens were found around 9 p.m. Thursday after an hour-long search and were not injured, authorities said.

"The hikers and their dog were wet and very cold, but very happy to be rescued," Katz said. "They were loaded into a warm rescue vehicle and driven to their initial location where their vehicle was parked and their family was waiting for word on their condition.

--City News Service

Penny Arévalo contributed to this report.

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