Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- A group of 13 Salvadoran immigrants missing in southern California amid fears that they planned a cult-like mass suicide have been found alive, unhurt and upset to find they were the subjects of an extensive search.
Authorities had been scouring the Palmdale area of northern Los Angeles County on horseback and by helicopter Sunday in search of the group, which included eight children between the ages of 3 and 17, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A resident spotted one of the vehicles identified in the lookout at a park and notified the sheriff's department, he said.
The search began Saturday afternoon, when the husbands of two women in the group reported them missing, the Sheriff's Department said. One of the men said their wives were part of a "cult-like group" and had been "brainwashed" by its leader, and Whitmore said the wife left a purse with her husband and asked her "to pray over" it.