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.

Rivkah Moshe, left, and Brocha Katz were found on Sunday in a heavily forested swampland after going missing on Saturday afternoon.
Rivkah Moshe, left, and Brocha Katz were found on Sunday in a heavily forested swampland after going missing on Saturday afternoon.

“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.

Devorah Shor, sister of Brocha Katz, thanked “every single police officer, Hatzala member, volunteer, every person who said tehillim, organized rallies, tehillim events and Hakhel gatherings on their behalf, as well as the outpouring of love and support.”

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

At daybreak, volunteer search teams gathered and began fanning out to the neighborhoods surrounding the resort, going door to door, looking for information about the girls and distributing missing persons’ flyers. After daybreak, the police began a visual search of the forested area by helicopter.

Police and volunteers confer about the search.
Police and volunteers confer about the search.
The thickly forested swampland was difficult for search-and-rescue workers.
The thickly forested swampland was difficult for search-and-rescue workers.
Some of the hundreds of volunteers who came from throughout the state to help.
Some of the hundreds of volunteers who came from throughout the state to help.
After learning that the girls were safe, the hotel's manager, Keith Odza, put on tefillin for the first time. He was helped by Rabbi Zvi Konikov, right, of Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts. At left is Rabbi Yosef Konikov of Chabad of South Orlando. “Today is your bar mitzvah,” Rabbi Zvi Konikov told Odza. “We should always remember that when things seem like they can't go right, like this day, darkness can turn into light.”
After learning that the girls were safe, the hotel's manager, Keith Odza, put on tefillin for the first time. He was helped by Rabbi Zvi Konikov, right, of Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts. At left is Rabbi Yosef Konikov of Chabad of South Orlando. “Today is your bar mitzvah,” Rabbi Zvi Konikov told Odza. “We should always remember that when things seem like they can't go right, like this day, darkness can turn into light.”