Search and rescue crews continued Monday to search Inyo National Forest for a Southern California woman and her dog who were reported missing.
Sheryl Powell, 60, of Huntington Beach, disappeared Friday near the Grandview Campground in the Bristlecone Pine Forest area after taking the family dog for a bathroom break while her husband moved their Jeep, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office. Powell told authorities he searched for his wife for about an hour and then called for help at approximately 2 p.m. local time, the sheriff’s office said.
Powell, who is 5’3″, 120 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, is described as an experienced hiker, according to the Sheriff’s Office. She may be wearing a purple top. The dog, a small 5-pound black/white Yorkie Poo, has a red leash.
“The possibility of her getting lost or just being out there seems more unlikely to us than an abduction,” her daughter, Farrah Powell, told CNN Affiliate KCBS. “Every day gets harder and harder. I go through periods where I almost lose hope and I break down into tears and I can’t get my mind off all these potentially horrible things that could be happening.”
The daughter also told CNN’s affiliate KTLA that Powell did not have food or water with her when she went missing.
Once contacted, Inyo Search and Rescue and Inyo Sheriff s deputies immediately began to look for Powell using aerial equipment with thermal detection abilities that had been provided by California Highway Patrol -Inland Division Air Operations.
“This is an active search and rescue and simultaneous open investigation. Investigators believe that Mr. Powell was not involved in Mrs. Powell’s disappearance,” Carma Roper, a spokeswoman for the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, told CNN on Monday.
Grandview Campground, found at 8,600 foot elevation and more than 300 miles northeast of Huntington Beach, has no intrusive city lights making it a “popular site for star gazers and astronomy groups,” according to the Inyo National Forest website. The campground has 23 sites, which are flat, sandy and shaded, distributed along two roads. The town closest to the campground is Big Pine, California, which is located about 50 miles from the Nevada border.
Multiple agencies, including China Lake Mountain Rescue Group, Fresno Search and Rescue (SAR), Riverside SAR, Tulare SAR, El Dorado SAR, Mariposa SAR, and CA Rescue Dog Association, continue to search for the resident.
“The family has been and continues to be extremely cooperative – we all share the same goal: to find missing camper Sheryl Powell,” Roper said.
Her family is trying to raise money for the search effort and for a private investigator to look into the possibility that something criminal happened, KCBS reported.
In addition to search and rescue, this case is also an active investigation, she said. Anyone with information should contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383.