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Missing Carlsbad family found safe

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Four members of a Carlsbad family have been found safe after they were reported missing during a hunting trip in Lincoln National Forest, State Police said Friday.

New Mexico State Police spokesman Dusty Francisco said the Otero County Sheriff’s Office asked for State Police aid in searching for Cutter Rogers and his children, Chuck, 14, Kensie, 12, and Jase, 11, on Thursday.

The four went hunting near Cloudcroft on Christmas Eve and did not return to their hotel at a designated time, after which the sheriff’s office was contacted, Francisco said.

State Police search and rescue teams assisted the sheriff and local fire department in searching for Rogers’ Dodge pickup, which was found in “extreme inclement weather” just before noon Friday, Francisco said.

“The family was located safely in their vehicle off of Sunspot Highway,” Francisco said. “It’s going to take a couple of hours for the family to be brought down from the mountain and they will be evaluated by (emergency medical services).”

A GoFundMe campaign created Friday had exceeded its $25,000 goal, intended to pay for helicopter flyovers, supplies and medical expenses, by 12:30 p.m.

Dwight Koehn of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque said temperatures in that area have dropped below freezing the past few nights.

Between 12 to 14 inches of snow were on the ground as of Friday morning, with up to a foot more expected throughout the day and overnight, Koehn said.