HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — The family of a Huntington Beach woman who disappeared from an Inyo County campsite say they believe she may have been abducted.
The search for 60-year-old Sheryl Powell resumed Monday morning. She went missing in the Bristlecone Pine Forest area, near Bishop, Friday afternoon.
Powell’s family says she is an experienced camper and hiker. Joe Powell, her husband of 40 years, dropped her off with her five-pound dog Miley to take him for a walk while he went to park. But when he came back to where he dropped her off, just a few minutes later, she was gone.
Joe Powell searched for his wife an hour before calling for help. He even called his office back in Huntington Beach.
“He was just flustered and said, ‘my wife is missing,'” coworker Jackie Morton said.
The couple is known forgoing camping and hiking frequently.
“They’re so experienced at this, so it’s mind boggling,” Morton said.
Because Powell is so experienced as a camper and hiker, her children fear the worst – that she was abducted.
“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,” Farrah Powell said via Facetime.
Investigators continue to handle Powell’s disappearance as a missing person case. A search and rescue time, dogs and a helicopter searched for hours Sunday but found nothing. Farrah Powell says Monday’s search effort will involve more dogs and more personnel from other counties.
“The possibility of her getting lost or just being out there seems more unlikely to us than an abduction,” Farrah Powell said.
Authorities say Joe Powell has been ruled out a suspect in his wife’s disappearance, and Farrah Powell says she’s grateful for it. But she and her brother are pushing the sheriff’s department to open a criminal investigation and have established a GoFundMe to hire a private investigator.