Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Missing high school girls found alive in Orlando swamp


Two high school girls from Miami who went missing Saturday afternoon during a weekend trip to Orlando, Fla., with their school were found by search teams on Sunday and were on the way to a local hospital, where they will be reunited with their families.

A police helicopter spotted Brocha Katz and Rivkah Moshe, both 16 years old, who were last seen taking a walk together at the Caribe Resort. A rescue team was sent to an isolated spot in a densely forested swampland near the hotel where they were staying.

While they were only several thousand feet away from the hotel, it took the rescue team more than two hours to reach them.

“Thank G d, the girls are back and have been reunited with their parents,” said Rabbi Yosef Konikov, director of Chabad of South Orlando. “They are generally OK, and they’re in an ambulance now on the way to the hospital. Obviously, everyone here is elated.”

The girls’ families, who came up from Miami to Orlando when their children were reported missing, expressed their gratitude for everyone who was involved in the rescue.

How did the girls get lost so close to their hotel?

Apparently, the girls decided to take a walk around the lake, which is located right near the hotel, adjacent to the woods. The land around the lake was uneven and one girl accidentally slipped and fell into the lake. The other girl knew that her friend did not know how to swim and jumped into the water to help her out.

Once they were both out of the lake, they tried climbing back up to ground level, but found that it was too steep. The girls tried walking around the lake and found a spot to climb up that led into the woods.

Eventually the girls found themselves totally lost in the woods and it was already getting dark. They just kept walking all night, trying not to fall asleep. During their travels they saw a bear and plenty of other animals.

Police initially searched the forested areas around the resort with infrared-equipped helicopters and K-9 teams, but came up empty. Meanwhile, hundreds of volunteers gathered from Orlando and came up from Miami, where the girls are from, to assist in the search.

Eventually the girls came to a small clearing, where the helicopter that came in the morning spotted them. The helicopter dropped down a note to the girls upon spotting them.

Portions of this article were from Onlysimchas.com.


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