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Pictures And Pings Locate Missing Family

Mariposa County, CA — A family of four spends a cold night lost in the forest near Yosemite.

The call from the lost family came into Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.  The family, made up of two male and two female adults, identified themselves as the Safir’s, who were visiting from Israel.

The caller, in broken English, told dispatch they had come from the Stockton area, possibly on Hwy 120, and after six hours had found themselves lost on a dirt road in the forest.  The family was unable to recall any landmarks on their trip.

At that point, Yosemite National Park Service along with Tuolumne County Sheriffs Office, Madera County Sheriffs Office, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office,  California Highway Patrol and the US Forest Service began searching in their areas with only a description of the car the family was driving.

Since the Safir’s had been using their GPS (Global Positioning System) to get to the Park, deputies were able to use cell tower pings, to determine the family was in Mariposa County.  The cell was also used to take pictures of the area near the car and luckily, deputies spotted the area as Chowchilla Mountain.  The family was found at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, safe and sound, on a spur road near Chowchilla Mountain Road.