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Injured volunteer seeks payment from lost hiker

Posted: May 22, 2013 3:23 p.m.
Updated: May 22, 2013 3:23 p.m.

Nicolas Cendoya, 20, one of two teenage hikers lost during a four-day search of the rugged terrain of eastern Orange County in April, appears for his arraignment Wednesday.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A volunteer searcher who broke his back while looking for a teenager who was lost in Orange County wilderness wants restitution if the teen is convicted on drug charges.

City News Service reports 19-year-old Nic Cendoya's arraignment was postponed Wednesday, but 20-year-old Nick Papageorge says his medical bills could cost $350,000.

Papageorge searched Trabuco Canyon's woods with other volunteers when Cendoya and his friend Kyndall Jack went missing on Easter Sunday.

Cendoya was found three days later and Jack was found the following day. Both were dehydrated and delirious.

While searching, Papageorge says he fell 110 feet and bounced off a rocky cliff twice, breaking his back.

Authorities say methamphetamine was later found in Cendoya's car. If convicted of felony possession, he could get up to three years in prison.


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