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Grandmother found after short search

Members of the Madera County Sheriff’s Department Search & Rescue team found a Mountain Area grandmother, Candace Chipman, 56, of Oakhurst, Saturday afternoon near Sugar Pine Christian Camp north of Oakhurst.

According to Erica Stuart, sheriff’s department spokeswoman, an 8-year-old girl walked into the camp about 2 p.m. and told people that her grandmother had died. Chipman and her granddaughter reportedly left Thursday night on a nine-day horseback-camping trip.

It is not known exactly how far the 8-year-old hiked out of the forest to find help.

After two hours of searching, officers in a California Highway Patrol helicopter spotted the pair’s four horses. Soon after, word came that Chipman had been found.

Search & Rescue team members brought the woman, who was alert and responsive, out of the woods at about 5 p.m. to an awaiting Sierra Ambulance, that transported her to a Fresno hospital. She is expected to make a complete recovery. The child was not injured.

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