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OC judge says lost hiker won't have to pay

Posted: July 12, 2013 2:00 p.m.
Updated: July 12, 2013 2:00 p.m.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A lost hiker who was rescued after a costly search in Orange County and later charged with drug crimes won't have to pay restitution.

City News Service says a judge on Friday ruled there was no legal basis to collect tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars from Nic Cendoya.

Cendoya and companion Kyndall Jack went missing on Easter Sunday after wandering off a trail in the Cleveland National Forest. They were found dehydrated and delirious days later.

Cendoya was later charged with having methamphetamine in his car.

County fire officials had asked that Cendoya pay $55,000 to cover part of the search costs and a volunteer searcher who fell and broke his back sought compensation for medical costs, which he said could total $350,000.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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