Womenz Magazine

Mum who went missing after setting out on ‘pandemic road trip’ found dead in desert

The body of a mum who went missing while on a road trip after “lockdown got to her” has been found in the desert.

Erika Lloyd, 37, went missing after off on the seven-hour trip to Joshua Tree National Park in California, US, on June 14.

Her family, who have been looking after her 12-year-old son, lost contact with her two days later.

A huge-scale search was lunched to try and find Erika, which was eventually called off on January 31 after hikers discovered human remains on a desert trail in Wonder Valley – about 15 miles northeast of Joshua Tree.

Dental records have confirmed that the remains were indeed Erika.

Erika’s parents – Wayne and Ruth – told KESQ that their daughter had decided to take the road trip as she wanted a change of scenery during the coronavirus lockdown.

Ruth said: “Being locked down for almost three months, not being able to work and trying to home school her son – it was starting to get to her.”

Her family confirmed her body had been found in a sad announcement in a Facebook post on Wednesday, February 17.

Erika’s brother, Colin, wrote in a post on Facebook: “It is with a heavy heart we announce that the remains have been identified by San Bernardino County’s Sheriff Department as Erika.

“Close to eight months have passed since Erika disappeared and we have been blessed by countless efforts of selflessness and compassion on part of the community and our family.”

It is unclear whether Lloyd met with foul play or simply lost her bearings after setting off on a hike in Wonder Valley.

Her black Honda Accord had been found abandoned and damaged 500 miles from her home at the edge of the Joshua Tree National Park, near the town of Twentynine Palms, on June 16 – but without any trace of Erika.

The front and back windows of the vehicle had been smashed out.

On Saturday, Colin shared photos of a memorial garden which has been created near where Erika’s remains were found which features two crosses made from wood, and stones set out in the shape of a love heart.

He wrote: “Erika adored everyone; she left a bright smile on everyone’s heart; she would remind you of who you truly were and how important and loved you were; she warmed your soul. Let us hold her spirit dearly, and allow it to work through us to serve others (what she would want us to do).”

Lloyd’s cause of death is still being investigated.

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