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Calif. hikers won’t have to pay rescue costs

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

County supervisors made that decision in closed session on Tuesday, the Orange County Register reported. Board of Supervisors chairman Shawn Nelson said 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.

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Nicolas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, were rescued from the Cleveland National Forest last month after spending several days 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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