PARADISE, Calif. (AP) -- A California Highway Patrol officer says a father and his three children apparently survived in a culvert for warmth during three days of heavy snowstorms. The four disappeared Sunday in the Northern California mountains while on a Christmas tree-cutting trip, but were found alive on Wednesday.
The officer says a helicopter pilot and flight officer found the family after spotting the word "help" stomped in the snow. The helicopter was able to join the search today after low-lying clouds lifted.
Searchers had hoped the family had found one of the many cabins or caves that dot the heavily wooded and canyon-crossed area.
The two youngest children were brought out of the woods first. The father smiled at family and friends, who cheered as he and his son emerged from their helicopter.