Mikayla had been reported missing the day before by her father. Mikayla had left Paulding Middle School and traveled to her grandmother's house near Huasna to go horseback riding. When her horse was later discovered unattended, the Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit was called in to search the area.
Crews searched through the night and continued the next day until she was found. More than 200 personnel were involved in the search including Sheriff's deputies, Sheriff's K9 units, the Sheriff's mounted horseback posse, the Sheriff's Aero Squadron along with assistance from Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern County Sheriff's Offices, CHP and Santa Barbara County Sheriff's helicopters and Cal Fire.
Mikayla had indicated that she had spent the night sleeping in a tree along a ridgeline in the area. After she was found, Mikayla was taken to a local hospital for observation.