Trinity Backus, 16, left home that night in her pajamas without any shoes, according to her aunt Ashley Bjorklund, who broadcast her case in a Facebook post. The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office further brought attention to Backus in a Facebook post of its own, including her photo.
Backus was found after 2 p.m. Friday by search and rescue teams just half of a mile north from her home. The area where she died is known as a river drainage area that is heavily wooded.
“At this point there is nothing suspicious and her cause of death is unknown,” the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a subsequent post Friday. “Our coroners division will be conducting a full investigation, including an autopsy.”
Hundreds of volunteers from Northern California helped in the search, according to the sheriff’s office. An airplane even surveyed the area. Authorities were able to mobilize quickly as the state has no waiting period to report someone missing.
There are a total of 72 children between the ages of 14 and 17 missing across the state of California, per its latest report. The state’s annual totals for missing children have been on the decline since 2017.