A Huntington Beach woman was reported missing near the Grandview Campground in the Bristlecone Pine Forest area 2:00 p.m. on Friday, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said.
NBC LA reports Sheryl Beth Powell, 60, and her dog Miley reportedly vanished from the campground while husband Joseph Powell repositioned their Jeep, a task, family members said, that only took five minutes. Her husband said when he returned, his wife and their 5-pound black and white Yorkipoo dog were gone.
Sheryl Powell, described as an experienced hiker, is 5’3″, 120 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, Inyo County Sheriff’s said. She was last seen wearing a purple top, and her dog had a red leash.
Joseph Powell searched for an hour before notifying officers of his wife’s disappearance through his satellite device.
“My parents have an extremely loving relationship and my dad (who has refused to leave the campsite) is on the verge of breakdown,” said son Greg Powell in a Facebook post Saturday.
Greg Powell said there are no traces of his mother except for the footprints she left at the campground. He said current search efforts have been inadequate and search crews understaffed.
Her son believes Sheryl Powell, who will be listed as a missing person Sunday, might have been the victim of an abduction. He said police are “refusing to acknowledge” the possibility, stating that she might have gotten lost during a hike or she might have been lead offsite looking for her runaway dog. Greg Powell said neither scenario is likely.
Inyo Search and Rescue and the Inyo Sheriff’s Department began an immediate search of the area after receiving the notification on July 12, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said.
Aerial search equipped to detect thermal imaging was provided by CHP-Inland Division Air Operations, Inyo County Sheriff’s added. Ground searches were provided by Inyo SAR, Mono SAR and China Lake Mountain Rescue Group.
Greg Powell said the helicopter will stop searching for his mother if she is not located in two days. He created a GoFundMe page to raise money to continue chartering the helicopter in case she is not found before then. If she is found, he will refund the proceeds.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s ask that anyone with information about the missing camper contact them at (760) 878-0383.