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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Father, Daughter Missing in Snow Found Safe

February 15, 1995

FRAZIER PARK — A Valencia father and daughter missing overnight on snow-covered Mt. Pinos survived by burning their tobaggan for warmth and were found safe Tuesday, authorities said.

John Racz, 48, and his daughter, Catlyn, 10, were found about 1 p.m. by a Ventura County Sheriff's Department rescue helicopter, said a spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Department, which had also been searching for the two since they were reported missing about 8 p.m. Monday.

Their medical conditions were "great; they don't even need hospitalization," Sgt. Wim Leyder said.

The man and his daughter were separated from his 16-year-old son on a cross-country skiing trip to the Chula Vista Campground about 2 p.m. Monday. The father skied off from near the top of the mountain with his daughter, leaving the son behind, Leyder said.

When neither reappeared by about 6 p.m., the youth made his way back to the family car and notified authorities.

The father and daughter survived by finding shelter under an outcropping and burned the toboggan for warmth, U. S. Forest Service spokesman Mark Bethke said.

Leyder said it was not surprising that the two survived the night in the snow. "For city folks, yeah, it is pretty remarkable," he said, "because most who are going to be out in that are going to panic and end up being dead. But anyone who has any experience is going to survive that.

"He's probably smarter than your average bear," Leyder said.

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