Police are looking for Olivia Gonzalez, 20, and Brian Fernandez, 21, who went missing with their dogs Dec. 23 after setting off on a weekend trip to Big Sur, a bucolic, mountainous stretch of the California coastline.
Gonzalez’s sister Vanessa Guzman told a local outlet that her husband had gotten a text from Olivia the day they went missing, saying they were two hours away from Big Sur. Their phones went dead or were turned off soon after.
“She's never without her phone," Guzman said. "The most she's not contacted me is one or two hours sometimes, but not to totally turn off her phone and totally disregard anyone's calls or messages, so this is definitely out of the ordinary for her.”
The couple, who were driving up to Big Sur from the Los Angeles area, had told their families that they would return by Christmas day, according to the LAPD.
A credit card belonging to one of them was last used in a gas station about 88 miles down the coast from Big Sur.
Guzman had never met Fernandez, but said that her sister had been in a “rocky relationship” with him.
Still, she told the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t think she went against her will because her clothes and makeup were gone.”
Gonzalez and Fernandez were traveling down a stretch of Highway 1 that can be dangerous, with steep cliffs over the ocean and the occasional rock that falls from nearby mountains.
Poor weather in recent days has kept local police from doing an aerial search of the area.