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California Mom Vanishes During Road Trip To Joshua Tree National Park

“Being [on] lockdown for almost three months, not being able to work and she was trying to home school her son, it was starting to get to her – the pressure and not having any income," the mother of Erika Lloyd said of her daughter's mysterious disappearance.

By Jill Sederstrom
Erika Lloyd Fb

It’s been more than a month since a California mom disappeared after setting off on a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

Erika Lloyd’s family said the 37-year-old set out on the trek Sunday, June 14, according to local station KESQ. They lost contact with her two days later.

“She seemed like she was fine,” her mother Ruth Lloyd told the station. “Being [on] lockdown for almost three months, not being able to work and she was trying to home school her son, it was starting to get to her – the pressure and not having any income.”

Park rangers spotted the 37-year-old’s vandalized 2006 Black Honda Accord on June 15 at Indiana Cove campground in the Joshua Tree National Park, according to the San Bernardino County Sentinel.

They noted that the back window and windshield had been broken and the dashboard of the car was damaged, but by later that evening, the car was gone.

“When the vehicle was noticed inside of the campgrounds there was no camping equipment directly associated with or in the vicinity of it," Nathan Lewis, park ranger for Joshua Tree National Park, told KESQ in July. "So we can’t confirm or deny that the individual camped or stayed in the park.” 

The next day, on June 16, the California Highway Patrol found the car abandoned near State Route 62 east of Twentynine Palms, according to a statement from the highway patrol.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department used a helicopter to scour the 3,000-square-mile desert to try to find the missing mother, but found no sign of her.

“There have been search efforts involving ground searchers (and) hikers, as well as Sheriff’s Aviation conducting aerial searches,” Cindy Bachman, the public information officer for the San Bernardino County Sherriff’s Department told Oxygen.com.

The Joshua Tree National Park personnel have also been searching for her within the park.

Bachman said the last time the missing mom was seen was June 14, the day she left on her trip.

She was “not aware” of any suspicion of foul play in the case.

Lloyd’s family believes she may have gotten into an accident of some kind before she disappeared.

“We don’t know if she had some memory loss when she got hit by the airbag,” her mother told KESQ. “Maybe she doesn’t know who she is. We don’t know, we aren’t sure about her mental stage.”

The family has now enlisted the help of cave and mine expert Doug Billings to help in the search. He is using a special map to re-trace the missing mom’s movements in the area.

"I did find one person who saw [a woman matching] Erika's description walking down 62 with another person a week after she went missing," Billings told KESQ.

Family and friends said Lloyd had been “under a lot of stress” when she disappeared. The 37-year-old had deleted her Facebook page just before she vanished, according to the San Bernardino County Sentinel.

Lloyd had been working at a beauty salon.

Anyone with any information about the missing mother is urged to contact authorities